Number of building permits collapsed


Lerato Khumalo

The number of building permits in Germany has been shrinking since last year. The decline was particularly large in February.

The decline in building permits in Germany continued at a rapid pace in February. The authorities approved the construction of 22,300 apartments. This is a decrease of 20.6 percent compared to the same month last year, the Federal Statistical Office announced on Tuesday.

From January to February 2023, a total of 44,200 building permits were issued, 23.4 percent fewer than in the same period last year. The monthly decline since May last year continues. Since October, a decrease of more than 10 percent has been recorded each year.

A total of 37,500 apartments were approved for new residential buildings between January and February 2023, a decrease of 25.6 percent compared to the same period last year. The number of building permits for single-family homes fell by 28.4 percent, and for two-family homes by more than half (52.4 percent). In the most numerous building type, multi-family homes, the number of approved apartments fell by 23.0 percent.

Building permits are an important indicator of the housing shortage in many cities. Despite the high demand for housing, the number of building permits has been falling since last year.

Due to the sharp rise in loan interest rates and high construction costs, many developers are holding back on projects or canceling them – from private home builders to large investors. Representatives of the construction industry are also complaining about excessively long waiting times for building permits. Construction Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) has admitted that the traffic light coalition will miss the target of 400,000 new apartments per year.