Rome, November 21 - Italy's real estate market showed signs of collapse, with home sales plunging by almost 26% in the third quarter compared with the same period least year, according to statistics released Wednesday. This is also the worst home sales report by Italy's Land Agency since the government department began collecting data in 2004. It found that between July and September 2012, residential sales fell by 25.8% compared to the same period of 2011. The contraction continued in non-residential building sales, with a 29.7% drop in the sale of commercial buildings, and 25.9% in the sale of industrial buildings. Among Italy's largest cities, Bologna showed the biggest drop, with sales falling by almost 30% in the third quarter; followed by Palermo, which fell by 28.1%; Rome, falling by 27.5%; Milan, decreasing by 27.2%; and Florence, where sales fell by 26.6% compared with the same period one year earlier. Naples was a rare exception, seeing its sales drop by just 0.4%.
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di Sebastiano Caspanello