A total of 172 building plans were approved by the City of Windhoek in February, showing a slight increase in the number of plans approved when compared to the 162 building plans approved in January.
However, in monetary terms, the approvals were valued at N$173.2 million, a decrease of N$99.5 million compared to last month. According to a report by IJG Securities, 49 Buildings with a value of N$34.36 million were completed during February. The year-to-date value of approved building plans currently stands at N$445.8 million, 28.4% higher than the corresponding period in 2018.
The largest portion of building plan approvals was once again made up of additions to properties, from both a number and value perspective. New residential units were the second largest contributor to the number of building plans approved with 32 approvals registered in February, 3 more than in January.
IJG reported that during the last 12 months 2,165 building plans have been approved, increasing by 9.4% compared to February 2018. These approvals amounted to N$1.94 billion, which is a decrease in value of 13.8% y/y.
The firm noted that the overall decrease in value of cumulative plans approved is concerning, as this shows a considerable decrease of construction activity in the city, especially when taking into account that the measure is in nominal value terms and does not account for inflation.
"Growth in commercial and industrial construction activity remains extremely subdued as the decrease (on a 12-month cumulative basis) in credit extended to corporates also reflects. It is evident from the commercial figures that business confidence is low, as businesses are not investing in expansionary projects and, as a result, the economy is likely to remain under pressure over the short-term," IJG stated.