MADRID — New Spanish home loans collapsed to the lowest number in at least eight years in October, official data showed Wednesday, as the economy battled a feared recession. People took out just 22,193 loans in the month, down 43.6 percent from a year earlier, said the National Statistics Institute. It was the lowest monthly figure since the data were first collected in the current format in 2003, a period that includes the 2008 property bubble collapse, which wreaked havoc on Spain’s economy.
Although not directly comparable, the number was also lower than any month in the previous series dating back to 1994. The value of the October home loans slumped 46.5 percent from a year earlier to 2.356 billion euros (US$5.9 billion).