Spanish house prices rise at fastest pace in over six years in Q4

Spanish house prices rose at their fastest pace since the beginning of 2008 at the end of last year, official data showed on Monday, the latest sign that the country's real estate sector is turning a corner.

House prices rose 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to the National Statistics Institute, compared to a 0.3 percent rise a quarter earlier.

Spain's decade-long property boom went bust in 2008, triggering a prolonged economic downturn and an unprecedented surge in unemployment which only began to abate in the second half of 2013.

The country's economic output is expected to grow by as much as 2.5 percent this year after registering the first noticeable annual expansion for five years in 2014, boosted by growing domestic demand.

As interest returned to the property market, prices rose 0.3 percent in 2014 from a year earlier, their the first annual rise since 2007 and following a 10.6 percent drop in 2013.

House prices have fallen by almost 40 percent since the beginning of the economic crisis.

Source: Reuters