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Number of building permits rises again in Germany: official figures
Last Updated: 2018-06-20 00:43 | Xinhua
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The number of building permits issued in Germany has risen again in the first four months this year after measuring a steep fall last year, official figures by the Federal Statistical Office, Destatis, showed on Tuesday.

According to Destatis, the nationwide number of building permits rose by 107,300 or 0.7 percent between January and April compared to the same period to the same period last year.

In 2017, permits had fallen by 7 percent to mark the first year of decline measured in as much as a decade, the government statistics agency highlighted.

At the time, the surprising drop was chiefly attributed to lower demand for refugee housing projects. The Federal Statistical Office explained on Tuesday, however, that a rise in applications to construct multi-unit housing units during the first quarter of 2018 had now reversed the downward trend.

Building permits for single family homes and duplex houses increased by 5.0 percent and 1.7 percent respectively between January and April. In the category of "hostels", which includes asylum seeker accommodation, the number of permits continued to decline sharply by 32.9 percent as the pressures of the so-called refugee crisis on the German housing sector eased once again.

The Federation of the German Construction Industry (HDB) estimates that a total of between 330,000 and 340,000 newly-built apartments will be completed in 2018. The expected figure consequently falls slightly short of an official annual goal of 350,000 set by the federal government as being necessary to meet demand and prevent an increase in average housing costs shouldered by Germans.

HDB has also drawn attention to 400,000 outstanding building permits which have yet to result in any actual construction. The association warned that the circumstance at least in part owed to the increasingly speculative behavior of investors in large cities who were delaying construction in anticipation of higher property prices.

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