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Argentine Housing Bust Has Government Dialing for Dollars

In a region where booming real estate markets have governments from Chile to Brazil to Colombia warning of potential property bubbles, Argentina stands out as a bust.

Two years after President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner clamped down on Argentines’ purchase of dollars, the currency of choice for real-estate transactions, the housing industry is grinding to a halt. While prices soared to records in Sanhattan, a high-end strip in Santiago, Rio de Janeiro and Medellin, Colombia, in Buenos Aires they dropped an average 1.2 percent in the second quarter from the previous three months, the first decline in data that goes back to 2005.