According to the data from the Orders of Engineers in Beirut and Tripoli, the total construction permits witnessed a year-on-year (YOY) remarkable increase of 57.01% to reach 2,385 permits by March 2021. Notably, the Construction Area Authorized by Permits (CAP) soared by an annual 133.22% to 1,247,998 square meters (sqm), mainly reflecting the high interest of investors in undertaking new projects.
Compared to the same period last year, construction activity witnessed a prominent increase regionally. Across the governorates, South, grasped 35.14% of the total permits, and accounted for 838 permits compared to 355 by March 2020. However, for the Mount Lebanon, it constituted 28.93% of the total permits, its respective number of permits reached 690 permits comparing to 644 permits same period last year. In Nabatieh, 21.43% of the total permits, permits accounted for 511 compared to 211 permits by March 2020. In Bekaa 218 construction permits were issued by March 2021 up from 121 in the same period last year, while in Beirut only 36 construction permits were issued down from 83 issued last year.
Apparently, the above data reflects the appetite of the market towards development projects and buildings. However, Beirut seems to be the only Governorate with a significant decrease in its construction permits. In turn, we assume that the remarkable increase is likely due to the desire of the Lebanese people to withdraw their deposits locked in commercial banks and invest them in buildings and houses in their villages and country side avoiding any possible haircut or losses on their deposits. Moreover, stagnation is expected to be seen in building permits for the long term period due to the uncertainty of the situation.
Number of Construction Permits by March
Source: Orders of Engineers in Beirut & Tripoli