Housing Permits Increase By 28% During 5M To May 2015

31 July 2015 – El Economista

The number of permits granted by the Colleges of Technical Architects for the construction of homes soared by 28% during the first five months of 2015 to 19,134 – the best figure to be recorded during that period since 2012, according to the latest data published by the Ministry of Development.

Permits started the year with a 37% increase, to 3,466 in January. In February, the YoY increase soared to 57%, whilst in March, the trend was broken with a 13.5% decrease in the number of permits granted with respect to the previous month. The number then grew again in April and May, by 50% and 22%, respectively.

The growth in the number of permits granted between January and May comes after a timid increase of 0.003% in 2014, to 34,873 – the first year of growth in the sector after seven years in decline.

Despite the increase recorded during the first five months of the year, the number of housing permits being granted is still well below the peaks recorded at the height of the boom in 2006, when more than 217,000 permits were granted in the real estate sector during the first three months of the year, i.e. 94% more than during the first five months of this year.

In total, 30,140 permits were granted for new builds, renovations and extensions during the five months to May, which represents an increase of 20.5% with respect to 2014.

By type of property, permits granted for the construction of housing blocks increased by 35% (with 13,585 licences), whilst those granted for single-family homes grew by 13%, to 5,537 permits.

In terms of surface area, the average size of single-family homes was 201 m2 and the average for flats was 112 m2. The number of housing permits granted began to decrease in 2007 (which saw a 24.8% reduction) and since then have followed a downwards trend until last year’s tiny increase.

According to the Ministry of Development, which began compiling these figures in 1991, permits reached their historical minimum level in August last year, when only 1,585 permits were granted. The historical maximum level was recorded in September 2006 when 126,753 permits were granted in a single month.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake