The number of building permits issued in Q2 declined by 51.0% but the rate of decline slightly eased from 54.3% y/y in the previous quarter, the stats office Monstat announced on Friday. Building permits have declined sharply since the start of 2018 as most of the required permits for major projects, such as the Bar-Boljare highway, had already been issued. The number of permits issued to corporates fell by sharper 54.7% y/y in Q2 compared to 45.2% y/y drop in Q1. The decline in the issuance of permits to private persons, on the other hand, eased to 40.7% y/y in the quarter from 62.0% y/y in Q1. Some 16 building permits were granted to natural persons, while 34 permits were issued to legal persons in Q2. In quarterly terms, the number of total building permits issued in Q2 rose by 19.0% y/y.
The approved building area contracted by 58.7% y/y to 17,191sqm in Q2 after expanding by 25.0% y/y in the previous quarter. The smaller approved area likely indicates that the number of permits related to large-scale projects is declining. The construction sector had two strong years in a row, mostly due to intensive works related to major projects, such as the highway and the undersea power link to Italy. However, activity in the sector has slowed as the projects near completion.