Ljubljana, 06 March (STA) - Housing prices continued to fall in the final quarter of 2012, dropping by 3.5% compared to the third quarter and by 8.8% year-on-year. New apartments saw the most significant drop, the Statistics Office said on Wednesday.
The prices of new apartments and family houses on average decreased by 5.7% between October and December 2012, compared to the third quarter.
However, new houses were 6% more expensive than in the previous quarter (though only 48 units were sold in the last quarter). This completely erased the drop in prices for the third quarter.
The average quarterly growth rate in the prices of new family houses was thus flat in the entire 2012, while the prices were 4% lower than the average for 2010 and about 20% below the peak the prices reached in the final quarter of 2008.
The prices of new apartments meanwhile plunged by 8.4% over the previous quarter, while losing 16.5% of their value at the annual level.
Among all types of real estate, new apartments lost the most value at the annual level, reaching the lowest point since the Statistics Office started monitoring the prices of new apartments at the beginning of 2007.
The number of purchases of new apartments by households was also at a record low. The state-run Housing Fund bought a total of 163 new apartments, but this was not taken into account. If it were, the drop in the prices would have been even more drastic.
In the last quarter of 2012, central Slovenia accounted for the bulk of transactions(47%), with most of the units sold in the Ljubljana municipality (53%). The northeastern region of Podravje follows with 26% and the northwestern Gorenjsko with 10%.
The prices of second-hand apartments and houses also fell. In the last quarter of last year they were down by 2.3% compared to the quarter before.
The prices of houses were 3.4% lower, while the prices of flats in Ljubljana decreased by 1.6% and in the rest of the country by 2%.
The gradual drop in prices of used homes brought them to the late-2006 levels.
The number of transactions for used real estate was not significantly lower than the quarterly average of the last three years, the Statistics Office said.