Bologna, March 20 - Home mortgages in Italy will reach a record low in 2013, after dropping by nearly half from 2011 to 2012, according to a forecast released on Wednesday by the Italian economic research firm Nomisma. Nomisma predicts home mortgages will fall an additional 4.8% in 2013 after hitting a historic low in 2012, when mortgage transactions tumbled 47.4% in a year, from 49,123 in 2011 to 25,784 in 2012. The study reckons the number of transactions in 2103 will slide to 24,537. Nomisma said slow recovery could begin in 2014, with the number of mortgages creeping back to 27,000, but Italy must wait until at least 2015 to reach 30,000. "Tightening of credit standards and the economic crisis" are behind the mortgage crunch, Nomisma found. Unlike the first credit crisis in 2008-2009, this one is linked to negative economic growth prospects, especially in the real-estate sector. Nomisma warned that "among the heavy legacies" of recession were more non-performing or at-risk loans. "In the absence of exceptional legal intervention, most credit institutions will proceed with heavy value adjustments and burdensome precautionary provisions," Nomisma wrote.