According to the data from the Orders of Engineers in Beirut and Tripoli, the total construction permits witnessed a year-on-year (YOY) decrease of 59.94% to reach 496 permits by February 2021. Notably, the Construction Area Authorized by Permits (CAP) slumped by an annual 49.87% to 228,031 square meters (sqm), mainly reflecting the little interest of investors in undertaking new projects.
Compared to the same period last year, construction activity witnessed a prominent decline regionally. Across the governorates, Mount Lebanon, grasped 33.47% of the total permits, and accounted for 166 permits compared to 523 by February 2020. However, for the South, it constituted 26.01% of the total permits, its respective number of permits declined to 129 permits from 293 permits. In Nabatieh, 17.14% of the total permits, permits accounted for 85 compared to 161 permits by February 2020. In Bekaa and Beirut, 50 and 12 construction permits were issued by February 2021, down from 94 and 68 permits respectively in the same period last year.
Overall, the road to recovery of the real estate sector in Lebanon will depend mostly on the reforms and economic situation; it would become more stable if the necessary economic and financial reforms will be put in place. If not, investments such as development projects and buildings that require import of raw material and take time will be insignificant under the current circumstances. Moreover, further stagnation is expected to be seen in building permits for the upcoming period due to the uncertainty of the situation.
Number of Construction Permits by February
Source: Orders of Engineers in Beirut & Tripoli