The increase in the number of construction permits by 7.6% in September helped reverse the declining trend witnessed in the first half of the year.
The number of construction permits inched up 0.23% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 12,827 in the first 9 months of 2014. Noting that permits are usually issued at least six months after applications are filed, this increase can be attributed to the cabinet formation in mid-February and the security tactics that it implemented a month later. Construction area authorized by permits (CAP) increased by 9.04% y-o-y, to 10,454,479 sqm by the end of the third quarter, with the most notable increases taking place in the South and in Nabatiye, where construction area witnessed respective increases of 21.80% and 33.61%.
The faster increase in number of permits in comparison to the construction area translates into a greater inclination towards undertaking smaller projects.
In September alone, the number of permits posted a 7.60% increase to 1,516 granted permits. In contrast, construction area shrank by 8.58% y-o-y to 1,037,478 sqm. As for the regional breakdown, Mount Lebanon and the South captured the bulk of transactions in September alone, with respective 45.02% and 19.00% shares. North of Lebanon, Bekaa, and Nabatiye regions respectively grasped 0.93%, 12.04% and 17.99% shares, while Beirut took the remaining 5.02%.
The Lebanon Brief – BLOM Bank