The brutal halt in construction is confirmed

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The building permits for housing in France were not surprisingly severely stopped from March to the end of May (Photo credits: Wikimedia Commons – Lionel Allorge)

The promoters had already announced that after a very bad first quarter, the second would be catastrophic. New construction is down 44% annually.

The permits to build housing in France have not surprisingly suffered a violent halt from March to the end of May, as well as housing starts, in a context of health crisis and confinement, show statistics published Thursday. Between March and May, roughly the period of containment decreed in France against the spread of the coronavirus, the construction of 53,900 housing units began in France, according to figures released Thursday by the government. This is a drop of around 44% compared to a year earlier, not surprisingly, when multiple construction sites had to stop for weeks, the time to put in place sanitary measures.

This decline has affected the various types of housing in a generally uniform manner, whether they are buildings, houses – that is the main part of the market – or “grouped individuals”, that is to say for example subdivision programs by a single promoter. Regarding the future, city halls also largely stopped examining real estate projects during the period, as evidenced by government figures. Building permits fell 40% to 65,700 units. As with construction starts, the brake on permits affected all types of housing in a generally homogeneous manner.

100,000 homes down

“The start of general containment from March 17 clearly marked a break. Indeed, the authorizations were very dynamic before the confinement ”, commented the ministry in a press release. “However, the authorizations issued fell sharply during the second half of March (…). This drop, as well as that of the following months, is to be compared with the strong constraints induced by confinement on the activity of the instruction services, the instruction of building permits being still very little dematerialized ”, adds the ministry, which notes however that in May, the number of permits issued started up slightly compared to April in a context of gradual deconfinement. Last month, the Federation of Real Estate Developers (FPI) estimated that the number of authorized buildings would drop by 100,000 homes this year, a figure that does not even take into account individual houses, the other pillar of the market.

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