THE Cyprus Statistical Service (CYSTAT) has announced that the number of building permits authorized by the Municipal Authorities and the District Administration Offices during November 2010 was 773, comprising:
- Residential buildings – 512 permits
- Non-residential buildings – 103 permits
- Civil engineering projects – 46 permits
- Road construction – 4 permits
- Division of plots of land – 68 permits
Focusing on the 512 permits issued for the construction of residential buildings, these were approved for 996 dwelling units – 352 single houses and 614 multiple housing units such as apartments and other residential complexes.
Compared to the November 2009 total of 1,285 dwelling units, this represents an increase of 24.8%.
Between January and November 2010 building permits were issued for the construction of 13,396 residential properties. Compared to the same period last year, when permits were issued for the construction of 15,064 residential units; a fall of 11.1%.
Looking at the broader picture, during the first 11 months 2010 of a total of 8,044 building permits were issued. This represents a fall of 1.4% compared to the first 11 months of last year. The total value of these permits fell by 5.4% and their total area fell by 6.0%.
According to the Statistical Service, building permits constitute a leading indicator of future activity in the construction sector.
Cement sales hit rock bottom
Confirming the continuing shrinkage in the construction sector, domestic sales of cement hit a 7-year low in 2010. The figures highlight the decline in the holiday home market and there are raising fears that there will be a further wave of redundancies in the sector.
According to CySTAT cement sales fell 7.9% to 1.3 million tons in 2010 compared with the 1.4 million tons sold in 2009 and by more than 30% compared with the 1.9 million tons sold in 2008.
Speaking to Stockwatch, the chairman of the Pancyprian Ready-Made Concrete Association Neoclis Kyriakou said “Our forecasts are that in 2011 things will continue to follow a downward trend and, unfortunately, this entails new dismissals.”