Slovak Property Prices Fall as Unemployment Depresses Demand

Slovak residential property prices fell 0.6 percent in the first quarter after two consecutive increases as rising unemployment depresses demand for housing, the central bank said.

The average price for residential property declined to 1,240 euros ($1,623) per square meter (10.8 square feet) in the first three months of 2013 from 1,247 euros in the fourth quarter of last year, the Bratislava, Slovakia-based Narodna Banka Slovenska said today on its website. Prices gained 0.4 percent on the year.

The economy of the export-oriented eastern euro-area member is slowing because of the bloc’s debt crisis, causing unemployment to rise to a nine-year high. The average price of residential property is 20 percent down from a peak reached in the second quarter of 2008.

Prices varied from 588 euros a square meter in the Nitra region of western Slovakia, to 1,670 euros in the capital, Bratislava.

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