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French Version


Construction in Lebanon increases by 26.5 percent

Figures released by the Order of Engineers of Beirut and Tripoli showed that construction permits totaled 6,074,843 million square meters in the first seven months of 2008, up by 26.5 percent relative to the same period of the previous year, according to Bank Audi's Weekly Monitor.

"This increase reflects acceleration in construction activity in the first seven months of 2008, which can be caused by the hike in real estate demand that is motivating contractors to launch projects in order to meet this high demand," Audi said.

During the month of July 2008, new construction permits totaled 976,685 square meters, up by 32.6 percent compared to the same month of 2007.

This year-on-year increase continues the upward trend in construction activity, which resulted in a year-on-year rise in the area of newly distributed construction permits in each of the previous months of 2008.

"Even in May 2008, which witnessed a political deterioration, a year-on-year-rise in construction activity was noted, although smaller than the rise of previous months," Audi said.

In June 2008, the double-digit year-on-year growth in construction permits was resumed, only for this trend to continue with more vigor in July, as the year-on-year growth in July was 12.9 percent greater than that noted in June.

"However, when comparing July 2008 to June 2008 in terms of the total permits, a slight monthly slowdown can be observed, as construction permits went down by 6.3 percent in July 2008, relative to the previous month," Audi said.

Mount Lebanon accounted for the majority of distributed construction permits in the first seven months of 2008 with 49.8 percent of the total. The region was followed by North Lebanon with 16.5 percent of permits, South Lebanon with 15.9 percent, Beirut with 12.1 percent, and the Bekaa with 5.6 percent.

The Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL) said last month that over $4.3 billion worth of properties were sold in Lebanon in 2007.

It added that most of the buyers were Lebanese expatriates working in the oil-rich Gulf states. Real estate brokers say that the prices of properties in Beirut and Mount Lebanon surged by more than 40 percent in less than a year due to the huge demand.

Beirut 22-09-2008
Redaction
The Daily Star



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