According to the latest building plans statistics released by the City of Windhoek, a total of 91 building plans were approved in December, which is a 9.9% decline from the 101 plans approved in November 2018.
However, in monetary value, approvals increased by 58.3% to register N$65 million worth of approvals in December 2018 compared to N$41 million in November 2018. The city saw the completion of 78 buildings with a total value of N$16.4 million during December.
For the whole of 2018, additions to existing properties once again made up the majority of building plans approved. Of the 2 118 building plans approved in 2018, additions accounted for 1 595 of those approvals, 12 more than in 2017. In value terms however, approvals of additions for the year declined by N$145 million.
Meanwhile, new residential units were the second largest contributor to the total number of building plans approved with 480 approvals registered in 2018, 190 more than in 2017. In value terms new residential units approved increased from N$422.4 million in 2017 to N$532.2 million in 2018.
The subdued level of business confidence is on display in terms of the commercial and industrial building plans approved in 2018 as the statistics show that a total of 43 commercial and industrial units were approved in 2018 compared to the 50 approved in 2017.
IJG Securities noted that the year-to-date improvement is owed largely to base effects, adding that however, the outlook for the sector is certainly focused more to the upside rather than the downside.
"Risks to the outlook of building plans also hinges on service delivery from the City of Windhoek, and reports that the municipality's capital budget for the current financial year has been slashed by 88% are worrisome. The budget has been reduced to only N$83 million for 2018/19, which pales in comparison to the N$716 million approved the previous year. The City of Windhoek has stated that current plot servicing projects are undertaken through public-private partnerships and as such are not affected. However, future projects and new developments will be affected by the budget cut, and thus provides some pessimism for the 2019 outlook for building plans," IJG added.