Construction hits rock bottom

According to the latest figures by Statistics Netherlands some 60 thousand new dwellings were completed In 2003. This is 11 percent less than in 2002 and the lowest number of dwellings completed since 1953. The worst seems to be over, however, since the number of dwellings for which a building permit was issued is on the increase again.

Fewer dwellings, more permits

The number of dwellings completed has been falling for five years, from over 90 thousand in 1998 to 60 thousand in 2003. The worst seems to be over since the number of building permits is on the increase again. Generally the time between granting a building permit and completing the dwelling is between 18 and 24 months. The number of dwellings for which a permit was issued reached its record low of 62 thousand in 2001. In 2002 the number of permits issued increased to 67 thousand and in 2003 there was a further increase to 72 thousand. On the basis of this, the expectation for 2004 is an increase in the number of dwellings completed. However, a building permit does not always mean that a dwelling is also actually built. The number of dwellings completed is on average 10 percent lower than the number of permits granted.

More dwellings for the rent sector completed

The share of dwellings for the rent sectors has increased slightly in the total number of dwellings completed in 2003. Some 22 percent of the dwellings completed was intended for the rent sector. In the period 1982-2002 the percentage of rented dwellings fell from 72 to less than 20 percent. This decrease came to an end in 2003.

Three quarters of the number of dwellings completed are one-family homes. Their share has been stable for about two decades.

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