The national average for cost of living in Spain has fallen 6.8 percent (article in Castilian) compared to 2008 in the first trimester of this year, returning to the levels recorded for 2006. According to the statistics published by the Ministerio de Vivienda, the drop coincides with falling prices recorded in almost all regions of Spain. In Catalunya, the cost of living fell 3.7 percent, while regions like Castilla La-Mancha saw decreases as great as 11.4 percent. The autonomous city of Melilla was the only region to see any increase, with a price rise of 5.7 percent.
The Generalitat has scheduled an auction to be held on Wednesday, April 22nd, for 50 properties (article in Castilian) acquired through intestate inheritance. Catalunya's Civil Code states that properties belonging to deceased persons without a valid will or family member within a quarter degree of consanguinity are legally transferred to ownership by the Generalitat. The Departmento de Patrimoni de la Generalitat insists that the process of searching for family members of these persons is an arduous and detailed process that rarely ends without results. The value of the properties in next Wednesday's auction is more than €9.5 million, although in previous auctions with similar properties, the final bids were an average of 20 percent more than the original appraisal.
The Spanish tourism market reported a 49 percent drop in tourism for the first two weeks of April (article in Castilian) with about 25,000 units and businesses reporting results. In contrast, April 2008 was one of only two months (with February) of that year that saw an increase in tourism. Sources say that the downward trend will most likely continue through the remainder of the month.