IN FOCUS / 2014-08-26
Low interest rates - more building permits
The number of building permits has steadily increased since the end of 2009. In 2013, the number of building permits for dwellings reached a ten-year high of 272,400. Compared with a year earlier, this was an increase of 13%.
The positive trend continued in the first half of 2014. In those six months, building permits were granted for 136,800 dwellings, just under 10% more than in the first half of the previous year. One reason may have been that the extremely low interest rates made building especially attractive in financial terms. Besides, real property is considered as an interesting investment opportunity in times of low savings interest rates. This is especially true for the cities where housing supply is becoming increasingly tight.
The rising number of building permits in turn has effects on the building industry. In the first six months of 2014, the total turnover of the main construction industry was roughly 27.7 billion euros, an increase of 12.6% above the level of the first half of the previous year. Compared with 2012, the main construction industry's turnover also increased in 2013, by 2.5% to 63.2 billion euros.