Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

16 November 2012

Namibia: Building Through the Roof

The value of building plans approved by the City of Windhoek reached an all-time high in October according to research carried out by one of the leading stockbroking firm, Simonis Storm Securities.

The value of building plans approved in October increased by N$487.3 million on an annual basis to N$577.2 million. The biggest increase was reported amongst additions (N$476 million) followed by commercial buildings (N$17 million). However, the value of approvals for flats and houses recorded a decline of N$6 million.

According to researcher, Shihepo Kavambi the nominal value seen in October is a record level since Simonis Storm Securities started doing research on building statistics 22 years ago. Previously, the highest value was N$274.5 million recorded in June this year.

Kavambi partly attributes the increase to the historic low interest rates currently prevailing in the country.

The number of building plans approved by the City of Windhoek also increased by 90.8% on an annual basis to record a historic high of 374 plans after declining in September. Kavambi says a year-on-year percentage increase of more than 100% was experienced among the commercial and industrial plans. He, however, says the strong increment for commercial and industrial plans partly reflect the low base effect, as this category only accounted for only 2% of the 374 building plans approved excluding plans for walls.

The number of completed buildings also increased strongly in October. The growth in the numbers was on the back of increments amongst all categories. One hundred and sixty seven buildings were completed in total, with 29 being walls, compared to 154 in September 2012.

The value of completed buildings was N$124 million compared to N$24.1 million in September 2012 and N$24.4 million in October 2011. The increase in the value of completed buildings was dominated by additions (contributing 85.5% or N$107.8 million) and flats and houses (contributing 8.9% or N$11 million). Commercial and industrial buildings accounted for 6.6% or N$8.2 million. The N$124 million value for completed buildings in October is the third highest value in 2012 after the N$150.1 million recorded in June and N$149.2 million in April.

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