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German Home Prices Tumble amid Property Rout

FRANKFURT, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Residential property prices in Germany continued their fall, dropping 10.2% in the third quarter from a year earlier in a further grim sign for the real-estate sector in Europe's largest economy, data on Friday showed.

It was the fourth consecutive quarter of declines and the biggest since Germany's statistics office began keeping records in the year 2000, underscoring the nation's biggest property crisis in decades.

"Until 2022, there was a speculative price bubble in Germany, one of the biggest in the last 50 years," said Konstantin Kholodilin from the macroeconomics department of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).

"Prices have been falling ever since. The bubble has burst."

For years, the property sector in Germany and elsewhere in Europe boomed as interest rates were low and demand strong.

But a sharp rise in rates and costs has put an end to the run, tipping developers into insolvency as bank financing dries up and deals freeze.

The decline for single- and two-family homes in major German cities was especially pronounced in the third quarter - 12.7%, while apartment prices fell 9.1%.

Other data on Friday showed that orders for the construction industry dropped a seasonally adjusted 6.3% in October compared with the month before.

The German Construction Industry Federation said the home construction sector was headed for a further reduction in jobs.

Austrian property giant Signa, which has a major presence in Germany, last month filed for insolvency, the biggest casualty so far of the region's property crisis.

Reporting by Tom Sims and Rene Wagner; editing by Miranda Murray; Toby Chopra and Mark Heinrich

Source: Reuters

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