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Building permits rose 16.2% in 2021

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Cyprus real estate sector in 2021 gained lost ground from the pandemic as building permits picked up the pace but are still well off the levels recorded in pre- coronavirus 2019.

According to Cystat data, 8,164 building permits were issued last year compared to 7,023 in the same period of 2020, recording an increase of 16.2%.

The number of housing units increased by 13.1%. Single units increased by 14.4% in 2021, and residential apartment blocks by 17.9%.

The area of licensed projects in 2021 rose 3.8% to 2346.2 mln square meters from 2260.7 mln in 2020.

Compared to 2019, when the area of licensed projects reached 2585.8 mln sq.m., the decrease was 9.3% in 2021.

Despite an increased area of licensed projects, the total value of permits decreased by -7.8%, dropping to €2.5 bln from €2.7 bln in 2020.

The total value of these permits decreased by -7.8%, although residential buildings remained the same.

The decrease was mainly noted in road constructions (41.9%), non-residential buildings (32.9%) and civil engineering projects (35%).

Compared to the previous year, an increase in the area covered was recorded in Nicosia, Larnaca and Paphos, while Famagusta and Limassol recorded a decrease.

Larnaca saw the largest YoY increase with 45.3%, followed by Paphos with 27.6% and Nicosia with 10%.

Non-residential buildings and civil engineering projects decreased in area (13.1% and 58.2%, respectively).

In December, building permits authorized by local authorities stood at 778.

The total value of these permits reached €241.1 mln and the total area 224,800 square metres. These building permits provide for the construction of 1,040 dwellings.

Building permits constitute a leading indicator of future activity in the construction sector.