Italian real estate sales and loans agreements continued declining in the first quarter of 2012 after a drop in the last quarter of 2011, according to a report released Tuesday. Istat, the national statistics institute, said in the report that the sales agreements, which totaled 154,813, dipped 16.9 percent in the first quarter on a yearly basis. Sales of residential properties fell by 17.2 percent, whereas sales of properties for business use fell by 11.8 percent, the report added. Meanwhile, the total number of loans, which stood at 92,415, decreased by 49.6 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011. In particular, non-mortgage-secured loans recorded a reduction of 63.6 percent, while mortgage-secured loans fell by 39.2 percent. In general, all the geographical areas of the country registered a negative trend for both type of sales and loans.