32 percent fewer building permits granted

15/12/2009 15:00
  • Fewer permits granted for owner-occupied houses
  • Number of homes completed stable
  • Fewer houses in the ‘pipeline’
  • Most substantial downturn in province of South Holland

In the third quarter of 2009, more than 15 thousand new building permits were granted, i.e. 32 percent down on the same period one year previously. In the period January-September, the number of building permits issued dropped by 18 percent relative to the same period in 2008. The number of houses completed in the third quarter was nearly 17 thousand. Nearly13 thousand were owner-coccupied, according to the most recent figures released by Statistics Netherlands.

The number of building permits granted provides an indication of the projected number of houses. In recent quarters, the number of building permits issued has been lower than in the same period one year previously. Therefore, the number of houses completed is anticipated to decline too. In general, the period between grant of the permit and completion of the dwelling varies between eighteen and twenty-four months.

In recent years, the number of permits granted was always higher in the first three quarters than the number of dwellings completed. As a result, the number of houses in the ‘pipeline’ was steadily growing from 144 thousand early 2005 to 188 thousand in the third quarter of 2008. Due to seasonal patterns, the number of houses in the ‘pipeline’ is usually highest in the third quarter. This trend was discontinued in the past quarter, when the number of projected houses shrank by approximately 2,300.

The number of owner-occupied houses, for which building permits were granted declined more rapidly in the third quarter than the number of permits issued for rented houses. The proportion of rented houses increased by nearly 36 percent in the third quarter of 2009, as against 28 percent one year previously.

There are considerable differences between the various Dutch provinces. The number of building permits granted in the first nine months of 2009 dropped most strikingly in the province of South Holland Flevoland (-3,740). Flevoland was the only province to show an increase (+800). Proportionally, the number fall most dramatically in the province of Friesland.