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Housing Fund Shortlists 531 Flats for Housing Buyout Plan

Ljubljana, 25 July (STA) - The Housing Fund has shortlisted 531 flats from the offers it received in response to a tender aimed at mopping up the overhang of unsold apartments on the market. The fund is ready to spend between EUR 1,500 and 1,800 per m2 for urban flats and between EUR 1,000 and 1,200 for flats outside cities.

Half of the shortlisted flats will be put on a "priority" list and subject to further negotiations, Housing Fund boss Žiga Andoljšek told a press conference on Wednesday.

The fund received 86 offers for a total of 1,033 flats and 1,345 parking spaces with a provisional total value of EUR 143.3m. About 80% of the offers to sell property came from companies and banks.

The state-owned fund is planning to spend some EUR 40m to buy empty apartments, including those seized in the ongoing crisis in the construction sector, and then sell or let them at more affordable prices.

Should the offer of flats fall short of plans, the money will be reallocated to other projects, including improving energy efficiency of apartment buildings, Andoljšek said.

Slovenia's housing market has been in decline since 2008, with thousands of apartments remaining unsold despite falling prices.

Official statistics show prices dropped 4.2% on average in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the previous quarter.

Prices of new homes in particular took a dive, dropping by 6.7% on average nationwide to their lowest level since 2008, when the statisticians started tracking housing.

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