Construction activity showed a recovery by the end of 2016 to settle near 2012’s level. As revealed by data from the Orders of Engineers in Beirut and the North, the total number of permits rose by 13.29% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 17,097 permits by Dec. 2016, compared to 15,092 during the same period in 2015. The positive sentiment created by the recent election of a president and the formation of cabinet after 2.5 years of political deadlock could extend the progress in construction activity in 2017.
Noting that permits are usually issued at least 6 months after applications are filed, the number of construction permits in Beirut rose by 5.52% y-o-y to stand at 14,193 permits. The number of construction permits in the North also increased from 1,642 in 2015 to 2,904 permits by Dec.2016.
On a different note, data also revealed investors’ preference for smaller construction areas for their projects, where the construction area authorized by permits (CAP) dropped by 15.08% to stand at 10.29M sqm by December 2016. Thus, the average area per transaction fell from 802.78sqm/permit by December 2015 to 601.77sqm/permit over the same period in 2016.
44% of total construction permits were issued in Mount Lebanon, while 22.74% were issued in South Lebanon, followed by 18% in North Lebanon.
Number of Construction Permits by December
Source: Orders of Engineers in Beirut & Tripoli