Construction Permits Increased by the End of February 2016

Following four years of frail activity, construction gained momentum by February this year with the number of real estate permits increasing to 2,521, compared to 1,966 in the same period of 2015. Noting that permits are usually issued at least 6 months after applications are filed, the growth in construction activity could be partly attributed to contractors’ optimism regarding the upcoming year, and the improved security situation in the North region. This is clearly reflected in the number of permits in this area, which has considerably increased from 216 in 2015 to 277 in 2016. In this context, the construction area authorized by permits (CAP) registered an upsurge from 1.81M sqm by February 2015 to reach 2.05M sqm by February 2016.

On another note, the average area per transaction narrowed by February 2016 from 921.32 sqm/permit in 2015 to 814.64 sqm/permit, which could allude to a possible drift in investors’ preferences in favor of smaller plots for their projects.

Worth mentioning, construction activity remained concentrated in Mount Lebanon, South Lebanon, and Nabatiye with 969 permits (43.18% of the total), 514 permits (22.91% of the total) and 383 permits (17.07% of the total), respectively. Furthermore, the number of permits in February alone went up to 1,386, increasing from February 2015’s level of 994 permits. CAP also revealed great improvement to 1.24M sqm from 968,250 sqm recorded in February 2015.

Number of Construction Permits by February

Construction Permits Increased by the End of February 2016

Source: Order of Engineers in Beirut & North

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