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Spanish mortgages hit record low

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Spanish mortgages hit record low
A woman gestures behind a sign reading in Spanish "To sale" displayed on a balcony in Madrid. Photo: Domnique Faget/AFP
09:33 CET+01:00
The number of mortgages granted to homeowners in Spain plunged by a third to a record low in 2012, the national statistics office said on Wednesday in the latest indicator of the property-driven finance crisis.

Data from the National Statistics Institute showed 274,715 mortgage loans were made in 2012, just under a third fewer than in 2011, the same rate of decline as the previous year.

The overall value of the loans made in 2012 was €28.3 billion ($37 billion), 38 percent lower than the previous year.

The collapse of a housing boom in 2008 threw Spain into a deep double recession that has driven the unemployment rate above 26 percent.

It has caused hundreds of thousands of mortgage foreclosures, according to judicial authorities.

The crisis has left banks piled with bad loans and lenders and owners saddled with properties that have lost value.

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