Tuesday Jul 17, 201212:54 PM GMT
Real estate crisis hits Argentina’s economy
Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:50PM
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The problem facing the property markets in Argentina is increasing construction costs, making no sense financially for builders to go all that way, prompting all market prices to rise."

Real estate analyst German Gomez Picasso

Official figures show home sales in Argentina dropped 15 to 20 percent across the country in the first five months of 2012 compared to the same period last year, Press TV reports.


Building permits also fell by 75 percent in the capital city of Buenos Aires, according to official figures.

“The problem facing the property markets in Argentina is increasing construction costs, making no sense financially for builders to go all that way, prompting all market prices to rise, including new and old houses. Housing access for middle class sectors become impossible,” real estate analyst German Gomez Picasso told Press TV.

Over the past months, the administration of President Cristina Fernandez has tried to control money laundering, tax evasion and capital flight and safeguard Central Bank reserves needed to pay public debt.

“Property market could work in pesos as it has worked in dollars over the past 40 years. I think people will only accept sale properties for inquiring the amount of pesos they will need to purchase dollars. It could work in pesos, but always based on dollar exchange rates,” Picasso said.

While officials have been calling on people to “start thinking” in Argentina’s peso currency, center-left leader Fernandez announced the “pesification” of a personal three million dollar deposit in a recent address on national television.


Experts say the national government must reconsider currency exchange restrictions in order to prevent deeper slumps in the short term, especially at times when economic growth decelerates and inflation reaches double-digit rates.

AGB/JR
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