Germany: building approvals at lowest level since 2016

In August, building approvals issued in Germany for living units in new residential buildings declined by 4.8% vis à vis the comparative month of the preceding year to 26,037 units. This represents the lowest number of approvals issued in the month of August since 2016. The last time fewer living units were approved in new residential buildings was in August 2015 (22,798 units). Following stable development in January, approvals had risen at double-digit rates in both February and March. After a decline in April (-4.4%), building approvals developed inconsistently over the following months: May +1.8%, June -9.1%, July +0.3%. According to figures published on 15 October by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) approvals for detached houses (+3.1% to 7,601 units) and living units in semi-detached houses (+23.6% to 2,658 units) both increased in August. However, the increase could not compensate for the decline in approvals for multi-family houses (-3.7% to 15,236 units).

Accumulated over the first eight months, approvals for living units in new residential buildings increased by 4.5% to 217,405. Of this figure, 65,557 were for detached houses, representing an increase of 7.8% vis à vis the comparative period last year. Approvals for living units in semi-detached houses rose at a stronger rate of 32.5% to 21,760. For living units in multi-family houses, 123,670 approvals were granted, corresponding to an increase of 1.2%. With regard to new and existing residential and non-residential buildings, the construction of 251,264 living units was approved, representing an increase of 5.1%.

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