Property transactions are levelling off after seven years of decline, says Italy’s leading property broker Tecnocasa, and the company predicts an increase of about a quarter this year to 500,000, compared to more than 800,000 at the peak of the market in 2006.

“I hope prices will stagnate or even keep falling,” Tecnocasa’s Claudio Parenti told Bloomberg. “Along with easier credit conditions and lower mortgage costs, that will help match supply and demand and increase transactions.”

“A further fall in property prices is needed for a general improvement in the market,” added Luca Dondi, director general of Bologna-based economic researcher Nomisma. In his opinion, prices need to fall by another 5-10% to spark a sustainable.

Italy’s tax revenue agency has reported that home purchases declined 3% in the first quarter from a year earlier. In the last quarter of 2014, transactions increased by an annual 7.1%, the highest figure since 2006. Prices fell in the first quarter of 2015, though mortgage applications in April were up an astonishing 71.9% from a year previously.