The construction industry is on firmer foundations as building permits picked up in July following the fallout from coronavirus lockdown introduced to stem the spread of COVID-19.
According to data by the Cyprus Statistical Services, the number of building permits issued by local authorities in July reached 740, which corresponds close to 1/4 of the total number of permits issued during the previous six months.
During the seven months, January to July 3,893 building permits was issued, 740 were approved in July, showing only a marginal decrease compared to July 2019.
On the contrary, the total value of these licenses increased by 49% in July to € 441.8 mln from €295.3 mln in July 2019.
These permits are expected to build 1,141 housing units, while in July 2019 the figure was 1,028.
Overall, building permits dropped by 243 from the 4,136 issued in the first seven months of 2019.
The total value of these permits decreased by 22.3% and the total area by 7.5%.
The number of housing units, however, increased by 1.6%.
According to the data, the 740 building permits issued in July have a total value of €441.8 mln covering an area of 340,200 square metres.
In Limassol, the building area covered in the first seven months was 31.3% less compared to -40.4% for the first six months, a reflection of permits picking up in July.
Larnaca’s seven-month drop was 18.9% compared to 27.6% recorded in the first six months.
A decrease of 8.4% from 9.2% in H1 was recorded in Paphos.
Famagusta recorded the largest increase in the area of licensed projects reaching 133.8% during the first seven months compared to the same period last year.
In the first half of the year, the increase was 90.7%.
In Nicosia, the seven-month increase was 10.8% up from 2.5% recorded for the period January-June.
Building permits are an important indicator of future activity in the construction sector.
In 2019 the area of licensed projects increased by 50%.