Construction permits in Lebanon in the first seven months of 2018 declined by 20.1 percent compared to the same period of 2017, according to the Order of Engineers of Beirut and Tripoli. The decline was mainly attributed to the economic slowdown and the sharp drop in property sales in most regions across the country.
Another reason behind the drop was the suspension of subsidized housing loans, as the Central Bank and the government search for ways to finance the loans.
But observers do not expect any quick recovery in the real estate sector until the government is formed.
“Construction permits covered an area of 5,693,998 square meters in the first seven months of 2018, against an area of 7,129,549 square meters in the first seven months of 2017. This followed a yearly rise of 0.4 percent registered in the first half of 2017,” the Order of Engineers said.
The breakdown by region shows most of the regions reported contractions in construction permits, with Beirut and Mount Lebanon reporting the highest contractions of 57.3 percent and 23.3 percent respectively in the first seven months of 2018.
The report added: “As for the breakdown of construction permits, Mount Lebanon continued to capture the highest share in newly issued construction permits in the first seven months of 2018 with a share of 40.3 percent.
“It was followed by the North with a share of 22.0 percent, South Lebanon with 15.6 percent, Bekaa with 9.8 percent, Nabatieh with 8.9 percent, and Beirut with 3.5 percent.”