Following four years of delicate activity, the construction industry in Lebanon showed positive performance in the first quarter of this year with the number of real estate permits more than doubling to 7,186, compared to 3,337 in the same period of 2015. Noting that permits are usually issued at least 6 months after filing the application, the growth in construction activity is mostly attributed to the improving security situation in the North region. This is mirrored in the number of permits in this area, which has considerably increased from 355 in Q1 2015 to 3,509 in Q1 2016. In this context, the construction area authorized by permits (CAP) registered an upsurge increasing from 2.74M sqm by March 2015 to 7M sqm in the first quarter of 2016.
On a different note, the average area per transaction widened by March 2016 from 819.76 sqm/permit in 2015 to 974.37 sqm/permit, which could indicate a possible drift in investors’ preferences in favor of larger plots for their projects.
Worth mentioning, construction activity remained concentrated in Mount Lebanon, South Lebanon, and Nabatiye with 1,588 permits (43.19% of the total), 839 permits (22.82% of the total) and 614 permits (16.70% of the total), respectively.
Furthermore, the number of permits in March alone went up to 3,119, increasing from March 2015’s level of 1,371 permits. CAP also revealed great improvement to 967.43 sqm from 674.14 sqm recorded in March 2015.