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Home Prices Down 4.3% in 2013

Ljubljana, 03 April (STA) - Home prices in Slovenia fell by 4.3% last year despite a modest upturn in the final quarter of the year, data released by the Statistics Office on Thursday show.

Prices of new homes were down 4.3% on average, while those of used homes dropped 4.2%.

According to the Statistics Office, prices of new houses dropped more than those of flats: the former were down by 7.9% compared to 2.8% for the latter.

The drop in the price of new flats was most pronounced in the third quarter, when they tumbled by as much as 15.1% due to the sell off of a large number of flats included in bankruptcy estates.

While prices rebounded in the fourth quarter, gaining 8.3%, the number of new flats sold in this period, 121, was the lowest on record.

Prices of new houses continued to fluctuate due to the small number of transactions. In the final quarter, a total of 28 new houses were sold, with prices rising by 1.5% on average.

Used flat prices meanwhile fell by 3.8% last year, with prices in Ljubljana tumbling by 10.5%, while elsewhere in Slovenia they gained 0.8%.

"Just as used flat prices in Ljubljana rose faster in the 2004-2006 period than elsewhere, they have fallen faster than elsewhere during the current decline," said the Statistics Office.

Used flat prices in Ljubljana have now fallen six quarters in a row and are back at levels from the first quarter of 2006.

Meanwhile, the number of transactions involving used flats was down by 50% in the third quarter of the year compared to the two quarters before.

"Such a quick drop in trading after the first half of the year is difficult to explain," the office said.

The office said the slowdown in the sale of used flats in the final two quarters of last year is very similar to that in 2009, the first year of the crisis in Slovenia.

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