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Dramatic drop in building permits

The dramatic decline in the Cyprus construction sector continued in December with the number of building permits authorised during the month falling once again compared to the same period in the previous year.

THE NUMBER of building permits issued in December stood at 394 compared with the 471 issued in December 2012; a fall of 16%, according to the latest figures released by the Cyprus Statistical Service.

Compared with December 2012, the total area of these permits fell 26% to 67,192 square metres from 90,437, while their value fell 44% to €69,414 million from €124,874 million.

During December, the following building permits were issued:

  • Residential buildings – 262 permits
  • Non-residential buildings – 66 permits
  • Civil engineering projects – 25 permits
  • Division of plots of land – 35 permits
  • Road construction – 6 permits

During the whole of 2013 a total of 5,341 building permits were authorised; a drop of 26% compared with 2012. Their total value fell by 30% and their total area by 30%.

Building permits for new home construction

The 262 residential building permits approved in December provided for the construction of 267 new homes comprising 151 single houses and 116 multiple housing units (such as apartments, semis, townhouses and other residential complexes).

This is a fall of 34% compared with December 2012 when building permits were issued for the construction of 404 new homes.

During the whole of 2013, the number of new homes for which permits were authorised has fallen by 30% compared with the same period last year.

Cyprus building permits December 2013

According to the Cyprus Statistical Service, building permits constitute a leading indicator of future activity in the construction sector.

Readers' comments

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  • @Joe Hunnam – if you want to buy a property with its all-important Title Deed, I suggest you look at resales rather than ‘new’.

    There are many on offer with Title Deeds.

  • Joe Hunnam says:

    Dramatic drop in building permits, what the hell does the Cyprus Government expect, they can’t even produce a simple document of ownership on completion of sale (Deeds). I would consider buying another property in Cyprus provided I could obtain a legal document of ownership. Does it really need spelling out.

  • Steve says:

    @ Nigel – it would make the numbers more meaningful if the number of building permits applied for were also published, but then everyone could draw conclusions about the performance of the planning and approvals system.

    Then there are the cases where building permits are refused and developers invent stories to satisfy or pacify their buyers. One in Coral Bay told the new owners they would have to run a generator because the EAC could not run electricity cables. They became suspicious when he he billed them for water, which they traced to a local pond.

  • John Swift says:

    There was a property next to the house we rented in 2008 it was in the final stages of completion it is still in the same condition as it was then.

    I’m still getting several emails per day from Buy Sell, the trouble is that they’re still quoting fantasyland prices.

    Adrian I agree 100%, one of the worst cons was where UK ex-pats were employed in the sales teams to portray a respectable front.

    When I mentioned bringing in the EU to one of these people his response was “Shush Shush you musn’t do that”.
    Wonder why.

  • John says:

    Well said Adrian I could not agree more

  • @Steve – Some buildings are constructed before the relevant permits have been issued (mine was not). So the figures you see in the chart, as I said when I first started publishing them, could relate to buildings that have yet to be constructed, partially constructed, fully completed.

    At the east of the island in particular, many holiday apartments were built without permits and had generators to provide their electricity.

    Another ‘trick’ I have seen is to run an electricity cable from one house to the next, to provide a (very) limited supply.

  • Mike says:

    Frank – I would think the answer to your question would be no, there would not be a drop in construction without a building permit especially in rural areas and farms. Electricity and mains water are invariably not available so why would anyone want to subject themselves to the laborious and painstaking trawl through all the layers of very costly bureaucracy in order to be told you can build but not have village water or power. I would suggest the majority just build, inhabit and live contentedly and as it is on land already owned no-one is any the wiser but the dwelling is bespoke for those who built it. A perfect solution as it would not be built as an investment and as such resale value would not be a consideration.

  • Steve says:

    @Frank & Nigel – The way it works there is no differentiation between building permits issued for buildings already built and those for which the proper process is being followed. I was told some time ago that most building is started without the building permit so it is possible that permits issued in December for buildings yet to be commenced are close to nil. In my case, the building was finished before the building permit was issued.

    Every building eventually has a building permit, otherwise it is difficult to arrange electricity, water, refuse collection, etc.

  • Peter says:

    I agree with that Adrian, I had my own apartment at Paralimni for 7 years and was lucky to sell and get my money back to the UK 2 years ago. I have just come back after a 2 week holiday and had a drive round all the areas I know. I could not believe the amount of unfinished derelict abandoned projects that were started when I was there 2 years ago. Some projects , all they have built is the foundations. One in particular, 2 years ago all it needed was the windows, doors and finishing touches, and it is still the same now, an unbelievable waste .

  • @Frank – I don’t believe we’ll ever know.

  • Frank says:

    Is there a similar drop in the number of buildings which are constructed without a ‘Building Permit’?

  • Adrian says:

    The Cypriot construction industry has sold a package (house, lawyers, banks, etc), exploited it using their sales technique of “you only come once so I will take you for all I can”.

    Well word has got out and nobody wants the “product” so why would you want to keep producing something that nobody wants! They should complete unfinished projects, clean up all the rubbish lying around and start over again with proper business ethics and maybe they will attract people back.

  • The views expressed in readers' comments are not necessarily shared by the Cyprus Property News.

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