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Cablegate: Spanish Housing Prices Continue to Soar

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS MADRID 003059

SIPDIS

TREASURY PASS TRACI PHILLIPS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EFIN EINV ABLD SP
SUBJECT: SPANISH HOUSING PRICES CONTINUE TO SOAR

REF: MADRID 604

1. Housing prices continue to rise in the Spanish real estate
market. According to Tinsa (Spanish society of home
appraisers) the price of used housing was 16% higher and new
dwellings 19% higher midway through the second trimester of
2004 than the same period of 2003. These numbers indicate
that the 2004 housing market is maintaining a similar pace to
2003, when the average price of housing rose almost 17%
(reftel).

2. Madrid is Spain's most expensive housing market, with an
average square meter price of EUR 3,063 (USD 3,767 per square
meter or USD 350.09 per square foot). The housing market in
Barcelona is Spain's second hottest with a price level of EUR
2,658 (USD 3,269 per square meter or USD 303.81 per square
foot).

3. The soaring housing market is one of the key engines of
Spanish economic growth. According to a speech given by the
Minister of Public Works, Magdalena Alvarez, at the 48th
assembly of SEOPAN (an association of Spain's largest
construction companies), the construction industry provided
17.7% of Spain's 2003 GDP, an increase of 3.9% over 2002,
compared to an overall GDP growth of 2.4% for 2003. New
construction of homes accounted for 22.8% of total
construction, while renovation and maintenance of existing
buildings (including housing) contributed 17.3%.
MANZANARES

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