ECONOMY

Construction rebounds strongly, trend set to continue

construction-rebounds-strongly-trend-set-to-continue

Private construction activity, measured by volume, jumped 98.2% year-on-year in May, according to data released on Thursday by independent statistics authority ELSTAT, in what market experts see as a clear sign of demand recovery and the positive expectations created by economic recovery.

Total construction activity in May involved 2,222 construction permits corresponding to 592,400 square meters and 2.4 million cubic meters.

Year-on-year, this represents a 62.9% increase in permits, 111.8% in built area and 97% in volume, compared to May 2020.

The bulk of construction activity is done by the private sector: Activity in May 2021 involved 2,203 permits (63.5% higher than in May 2020), 588,700 square meters in built area (+113.7%) and 2.39 million cubic meters in volume (98.2%).

The greatest year-on-year increase by volume was in the northwestern region of Epirus (+480.4%), in Western Greece, just to Epirus’ south (259.7%) and Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, in the northeast (257.7%).

In the region of Attica, which includes the capital, Athens, and accounts for 27% of total construction volume, it rose 129.4% year-on-year.

The acceleration of construction activity is partly due to the fact that fewer-than-usual building permits were issued in early 2020.

Experts expect the construction recovery to continue strongly, at least through the year, since, as a measure to boost the economy during and after the pandemic, the government has suspended the 24% value-added tax on new building permits that will be issued until the end of 2022.