TDespite the corona pandemic, significantly more apartments were approved in the past year. The number rose by 2.2 percent compared to 2019 to 368,400, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on Wednesday. This includes both permits for the construction of new buildings and construction work on existing ones. The Wiesbaden statisticians explained that there have only been more approved apartments since the turn of the millennium in 2016 (375,400).
Even a strong setback last December (minus 11 percent) could not stop the upward trend for the year as a whole. Last year, according to the statistician, around 320,200 apartments were approved in new residential buildings – 2.9 percent more than in the previous year. Two-family houses, where there was a sharp increase in permits (plus 20.5 percent), were particularly in demand. Building permits for single-family houses grew by 2.4 percent, those for apartment buildings by 0.4 percent.
Building permits are an important indicator of new construction in the fight against the housing shortage in many cities. However, some apartments are approved but not yet built, for example because craftsmen and construction companies are overburdened in the real estate boom. Therefore, the number of building permits far exceeds that of the finished buildings.
Everything takes place at home
“The Corona crisis has not slowed down the demand for living space, on the contrary. It showed us how important your own four walls are – after all, almost everything now takes place at home. “This is how Tim Lorenz, Vice President Economy of the Main Association of the German Construction Industry, assessed the new figures.
“The new building permits for apartment buildings are particularly important for the general public
however – due to a significant decline in December – only increased by a below-average 0.4 percent, ”he said. The negative development in the metropolises is a sad development in view of the housing shortage. “The introduction of the rent cap, scarce building land and digitally poorly positioned authorities are increasingly proving to be the brake blocks,” said Lorenz.
From the perspective of the insurance industry, too many building permits are still being issued in risk areas. The proportion of new buildings in highly endangered flood areas has not decreased compared to the building stock. The consequences of climate change, such as extreme weather, floods, heavy rain or hail, were not given enough consideration in the construction planning.
“Today’s crises are the consequences of yesterday’s decisions. We also have to prevent damage caused by extreme weather events in the construction sector, ”demands Jörg Asmussen, General Manager of the GDV insurance association. “An adaptation of the building law to the consequences of climate change is essential.” The protection goal of “climate-adapted building” should flow into the building legislation.
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