The City of Windhoek approved a total of 2,282 building plans in 2020, 250 more than in 2019, however, in value terms approvals fell by 7% in 2020, declining from N$1.99 billion in 2019 to N$1.85 billion in 2020.
Additions to properties once again made up the majority of building plans approved in 2020, with 886 additions to properties having been completed to a value of N$454.1 million, a drop of 30.5% in number and 34.1% in value terms.
New residential units were the second largest contributor to the total number of building plans approved with 640 approvals registered in 2020, 285 more than in 2019. In value terms, new residential units approved increased from N$640.8 million in 2019 to N$823.5 million in 2020.
Furthermore, a total of 41 commercial and industrial units were approved in 2020 compared to the 47 approved in 2019. In value terms, commercial and industrial approvals fell by N$244.5 million or 42.5% for the year in 2020 from the N$575.6 million reported in 2019.
IJG noted that building plans approved is a leading indicator of economic activity in the country and the above data implies that the Namibian economy is still showing signs of hardship.
"The significantly lower commercial building plan approvals in 2020 is another sign of this and indicate that most businesses are not planning on expanding their existing operations," IJG stated in their latest building plan research.