By Stelios Orphanides
Building permits increased an annual 27 per cent in the first quarter and 30 per cent in terms of construction area and value, to 378,933 square meters and €410.4m respectively, driven by investment in commercial projects, the statistical service said.
The construction area of housing projects that received a building permit in the first three months of the year rose 17 per cent, to 303,716 square meters while their value rose 23 per cent, to €305.8m, compared to the respective period last year, Cystat said in a statement on Wednesday. The permits concern 808 detached houses, up 16 per cent, and 244 residential units with two or more homes, up 19 per cent.
Building permits for commercial projects more than doubled in the first quarter, to 74,653 square meters, while their value rose an annual 79 per cent, to €85.6m, Cystat said. The increase was mainly on a sevenfold rise in the construction area of wholesale and retail trade buildings, to 24,640, whose value almost tripled to €22.3m. Building permits for hotels and other related buildings rose an annual 48 per cent, to 12,238 square meters and 123 per cent, to €24.8m respectively.
Building permits are considered an important leading economic indicator.