Spanish mortgages hit record low

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.

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

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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Spain extends measures to protect tenants and homeowners

Spain has approved an extension to a mortgage holiday for homeowners until the end of September and measures to protect tenants.

Spain extends measures to protect tenants and homeowners

The left-wing coalition government agreed on Tuesday to push back a deadline for qualifying homeowners from 20 July to 30th September. 

It was part of a series of measures aimed at easing the financial burden on rental tenants and homeowners hit by the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic. 

Tenants will be able to renew their existing contracts for six months under the same conditions, while a ban on utility companies cutting gas, electricity and water supplies will remain in place until the end of September. 

In March, the government approved a €700 million aid package to help vulnerable households and later introduced a minimum income programme to reach around 2.3 million people.