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Italy’s Property Market Seen Worsening as Sales Fall, BOI Says

Sept. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Italy’s property market may deteriorate in the third quarter as demand for residential units slows and real-estate agents are increasingly pessimistic about the outlook for the coming months, the Bank of Italy said.

The number of real-estate agents who sold at least one residential property in the three months though June fell to 67 percent from 70 percent in the first quarter, the central bank said in a survey based on interviews with 980 realtors. Thirty percent of those interviewed called the outlook for the market “unfavorable,” up from 17 percent in the previous quarter.

“The views on the short-term outlook of the national market are slightly worse than in the previous survey,” the central bank said in its report today.

Italy’s real-estate market recovery is struggling to gather pace as prices remain below pre-crisis levels, research institute Nomisma said on July 16. The number of homes sold in the first half of 2010 was 30 percent lower than before the financial crisis began in 2008, the Bologna-based institute said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lorenzo Totaro in Rome at ltotaro@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Fraher at jfraher@bloomberg.net

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