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Building Permits Up after six years

According to Cystat, the area of building permits increased to 881.1 mn square meters from 784.9mn square meters in 2014.

Building permits are considered a forward-looking indicator for construction activity, which dropped sharply in the past few years, amid the collapse of the housing market.

Property valuator Polys Kourousides told StockWatch that following the stagnation observed in the constructions industry in recent years due to the crisis, most of the unsold properties are gone and there is a need for new projects.

According to Mr. Kourousides, interest rate cuts by banks also contributed to increased interest while the reduction of deposit rates is leading investors to other forms of investments such as real estate.

The Central Bank has been reporting a deceleration in the housing price slump of the past years. A reported published by the CB on Tuesday noted that prices have probably reached a floor, though market conditions remain difficult to predict.

In 2014 the area of building permits fell to the lowest historical level but in 2015 it increased in all districts except Paphos.

In Nicosia, the area of building permits reached 286.2 thousand square meters in January – December 2015 from 228.5 thousand square meters in 2014, an increase of 25.3%.

In Limassol the building permits’ area reached 237 thousand square meters from 210.3 thousand last year, which corresponds to an increase of 12.7%.

Larnaca recorded a 9.6% increase with the area of building permits reaching 141.1 thousand square meters compared to 128.8 thousand square meters in 2014.

Famagusta recorded the smallest increase of 5.2% as the building permits’ area reached 54 thousand square meters against 51.3 thousand sq. 2014.

In Paphos there is a reduction of 2% as the area of building permits fell to 162.8 thousand square meters from 166 thousand in 2014.

The total value of these permits increased by 24.7% to € 1071,4 mn in January-December 2015, from €859,5 mn the previous year.

The number of building permits (including residential and other projects) reached 5.014 from 4.933 in 2014.