Rome

'Family housing market down 74 bln euros in six years'

'IMU partly to blame' says builders' association

'Family housing market down 74 bln euros in six years'

Rome, July 11 - The Italian housing market for families has lost 74 billion euros with respect to six years ago, the president of the Italian builders' association ANCE said Thursday. "The market is practically still," Paolo Buzzetti told members at a meeting. Buzzetti added that an unpopular housing tax known as IMU "has contributed in a decisive way to this drop". Rolling back IMU was a major platform that helped launch ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party to second place in February elections and eventually secure a stake in the current left-right coalition government. He has threatened to bring down the government if it fails to roll back the tax despite calls from international bodies such as the IMF and the OECD to retain it in order to ensure financial stability.

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