March 17: 2016 a bumper year for construction permits in Germany

March 2017

340,000 housing units were granted a construction permit between January and November 2016, the Federal Statistical Office reports.

The figure represents an impressive increase of 63,000 (+23.0%) on the same period in 2015 and 26,700 (8.5%) more permits than in all 12 months of 2015. This level was last seen when 403,000 permits were issued from January to November 1999.

Of the new permits issued in the first 11 months of 2016, 286,200 were for new housing units in residential buildings (+20.8% YOY). The growth was mainly seen in multi-unit buildings (+27.4% / 33,500). The strongest growth in percentage terms was seen in residential homes (+125.4% / 12,400) - a category that includes refugee accommodation. If this category is ignored, the number of permits for housing units in new residential buildings was up 16.2%.

Permits were also issued for 47,800 housing units created through conversions and extensions to existing buildings - the highest such figure for the first 11 months since 1998 (51,600).

Construction permits for new non-residential buildings increased in the same time period by 15.6% to 196.9 million cubic meters. This growth was seen in both public (+29.5%) and private construction (+14.4%).

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