Dollar restrictions see Argentina property sales plummet

Sales of property in Argentina have been hit by new dollar restrictions, according to experts.

The number of sales in Buenos Aires in 2012 plummeted 27 per cent in 2012 compared to 2011, according to the Notary Public Association, following the introduction of a dollar clamp by the government.

Traditionally, Argentinean real estate has been bought and sold entirely in dollars, with locals avoiding the national peso after decades of inflation and financial fluctuations. But authorities have now ruled out the practice, causing sales to fall significantly.

Indeed, the total value of sales in Buenos Aires dropped by 21.16 per cent last year.

"People do not want to sell their real estate because they do not want pesos, while the sellers do not want to part with their dollars," Germán Gómez Picasso, director of Real Estate Report, told The Argentina Independent . "The used market has entered a tunnel that it does not know how to get out of, and the situation worsens day by day."

The biggest decrease occurred in September, when 46 per cent fewer deeds were purchased compared to September 2011. Some signs point to slight improvements, though, with minor increased registered in the final quarter of 2012 compared to the previous quarters.