|Construction on the rise in Lebanon in first half of 2008
|Figures released by the Order of Engineers of Beirut and Tripoli reveal that construction permits totaled 5,074,893 million square meters in the first half of 2008, up by 24.8 percent from 4,066,666 square meters in the same period the previous year. This increase signifies acceleration in construction activity in the first five months of 2008, caused by a hike in real-estate demand.
The Finance Ministry said last week sales of property in Lebanon in the first five months of 2008 rose by more than 29 percent. It estimated that more than $2 billion worth of real estate was sold during that period.
Analysts believe the price of property is expected to surge in the country by more than 30 percent before the end of the year thanks to the increasing interest from non-Lebanese residents and Gulf nationals.
During the month of June 2008, new construction permits totaled 1,042,816 square meters, up by 19.5 percent from 872,778 square meters in the same month of 2007. When compared to the previous month, construction activity saw a momentous increase in pace, as construction permits went up by a monthly 20.1 percent in June 2008. The monthly increase during June 2008 continued the on-going upward trend that prevailed in each of the first four months of 2008, but which was temporarily interrupted in May 2008 as a result of the political deterioration and street clashes.
"It seems like the political breakthrough reached at end-May 2008 provided yet another push for contractors to launch new projects, aside from their will to benefit from the on-going real-estate demand," Bank Audi's Weekly Monitor reported on Tuesday.
Mount Lebanon accounted for the majority of distributed construction permits in the first half of 2008 with 48.8 percent of the total, followed by the North with 16.3 percent, the South (15.9 percent), Beirut (13.7 percent), and the Bekaa Valley (5.2 percent).
The Daily Star