Construction activity, measured by the number of new building permits, dropped 15.8 percent year-on-year in April, deteriorating sharply after a 3.8 percent rise in March, according to data from the Hellenic Statistics Authority (ELSTAT). The statistics service said 3,732 new permits were issued nationwide in April, corresponding to 0.777 million square meters, compared to 4,433 permits in the same month a year earlier, covering 1.12 million square meters. Meanwhile, figures showed that Greek real estate prices declined 7.7 percent in the first quarter of 2010 from a year earlier. Prices fell 5.4 percent in the Attica region and 9.8 percent in Thessaloniki, according to the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research and Propindex. Prices dropped 12.6 percent in the rest of Greece in the first quarter. Apartment prices fell last year to 2006 levels after a two-year rise, the report added.