Real Estate: Argentina April Construction up 3.6% on Year, Down 2.3% on Month

The Wall Street Journal – By Shane Romig

BUENOS AIRES–Argentina’s construction activity showed a moderate rebound in April, although the pace of building continues to suffer from government capital controls that have made the U.S. dollars traditionally used for real-estate transactions scarce.

Construction activity in April was up 3.6% on the year, but down 2.3% on the month, the national statistics agency, Indec, reported Friday.

Construction started to show small gains starting in February, but it has been slow to recover from a contraction last year. In 2012, construction was down 3.2% on the year, according to Indec.

In a bid to slow capital flight, the government has made it all but impossible for most people to legally buy dollars. The limits were first imposed in late 2011, but have been progressively stepped up since then.

That has rattled the real-estate and construction sectors, where values are usually pegged in dollars due to the country’s long history of inflation and repeated devaluations of the peso.

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