IN FOCUS / 2015-12-01
Low interest rates - more building permits
The number of building permits has steadily increased since the end of 2009. In 2014, the number of building permits for dwellings reached an eleven-year high of 285,100. Compared with a year earlier, this was an increase of nearly 5%.
The positive trend continued between January and September 2015. In that period, building permits were granted for 222,800 dwellings, just under 5% more than in the first nine months 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 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 construction industry. Compared with a year earlier, the turnover of the main construction industry (local units of enterprises with 20 or more persons employed) increased in 2014, by 4.4% to 65.1 billion euros.