Fewer housing construction permits issued

In the third quarter of this year 13,100 housing construction permits were issued, 24 percent less than in the same period last year, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released. This is the third consecutive quarter in which fewer permits were issued than a year earlier. 

Up to and including September, a total of 40 thousand construction permits were issued to build new homes. For comparison, throughout all of 2018 a total of 70 thousand housing construction permits were issued.

"That is remarkably low when you consider how tight the housing market is", Peter Hein van Mulligen, chief economist at Statistics Netherlands, said to broadcaster NOS. 

The number of construction permits issued for commercial projects is also falling. 14 percent fewer such permits were issued in the third quarter compared to a year earlier. 

Earlier this week the economic institute for construction EIB warned that the government's goal to build 75 thousand new homes per year will definitely not be achieved in the next two years. The institute worries that the decrease in issued construction permits will only continue, due to regulations regarding nitrogen emissions. 

Despite the decrease in the number of issued permits, the turnover of the construction sector increased by 8.8 percent in the third quarter, compared to the same quarter last year. Though for the fifth quarter in a row, more construction companies were declared bankrupt than the year before. In the third quarter there were 129 bankruptcies, compared to 115 in the same quarter last year. 

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