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Spain Home Sales Slump for Eighth Month as Economy Stalls

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Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Spanish home sales declined in October for an eighth month as the economy stalled and unemployment surged.

The number of transactions fell 18 percent from a year earlier, after declining an annual 28.2 percent in September, the National Statistics Institute in Madrid said in an e-mailed statement today.

Spain is struggling to work through an excess of 700,000 new homes after the collapse of a building boom saddled banks with 176 billion euros ($233 billion) of what the Bank of Spain calls “troubled” assets linked to real estate. Tax rebates for buyers have failed to spur the market, as a 23 percent unemployment rate deters consumers from making home purchases.

Spain’s economy stalled in the third quarter, and the Bank of Spain said on Nov. 30 that the economy weakened further in the last months of the year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Angeline Benoit in Madrid at abenoit4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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