Building permits

Building permits: March 2021

Housing
Building permits: March 2021

Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, publishes today the figures on building permits until March 2021.

Annual evolution

The number of permits issued for new residential buildings in the first 3 months of 2021 has increased by 3.3% to 8,467 buildings compared to the same period in 2020. In the Flemish Region, there was a slight decrease (-1.1%). The number of permits issued for new residential buildings was 19.3% higher in the Walloon Region, and 19.5% higher in the Brussels-Capital Region.

Figures for the first 3 months - number of building permits for new residential buildings + evolution compared to the previous period

  Belgium Flemish Region Walloon Region Brussels-Capital Region
2005 7,453   5,323   1,995   135  
2010 7,154 (-4.0%) 5,077 (-4.6%) 2,015 (+1.0%) 62 (-54.1%)
2015 5,497 (-23.2%) 4,007 (-21.1%) 1,446 (-28.2%) 44 (-29.0%)
2016 7,680 (+39.7%) 6,113 (+52.6%) 1,497 (+3.5%) 70 (+59.1%)
2017 5,763 (-25.0%) 4,008 (-34.4%) 1,694 (+13.2%) 61 (-12.9%)
2018 8,130 (+41.1%) 6,392 (+59.5%) 1,685 (-0.5%) 53 (-13.1%)
2019 6,612 (-18.7%) 5,008 (-21.7%) 1,570 (-6.8%) 34 (-35.8%)
2020 8,195 (+23.9%) 6,430 (+28.4%) 1,723 (+9.7%) 41 (+20.6%)
2021 8,467 (+3.3%) 6,361 (-1.1%) 2,055 (+19.3%) 49 (+19.5%)

Monthly evolution

For the most recent month available, March 2021, building permits were issued for 3,542 new residential buildings. Compared to February 2021, this is an increase of 46.8%. In the Flemish Region, the increase was 45.6%. The number of permits issued for new buildings has increased by 50% in the Walloon Region. In the Brussels-Capital Region, the number of permits issued for new buildings increased to 25 buildings.

Monthly figures - number of permits for new residential buildings + evolution compared to the previous period

  Month Belgium Flemish Region Walloon Region Brussels-Capital Region
2020 1 2,568   1,921   634 0.0% 13  
2020 2 2,435 (-5.2%) 1,944 (+1.2%) 476 (-24.9%) 14 (+7.7%)
2020 3 3,192 (+31.1%) 2,565 (+31.9%) 613 (+28.8%) 14 (0.0%)
2020 4 2,174 (-31.9%) 1,506 (-41.3%) 646 (+5.4%) 22 (+57.1%)
2020 5 1,738 (-20.1%) 1,273 (-15.5%) 456 (-29.4%) 8 (-63.6%)
2020 6 2,293 (+31.9%) 1,828 (+43.6%) 460 (+0.9%) 5 (-37.5%)
2020 7 2,243 (-2.2%) 1,637 (-10.4%) 593 (+28.9%) 12 (+140.0%)
2020 8 2,442 (+8.9%) 1,739 (+6.2%) 698 (+17.7%) 5 (-58.3%)
2020 9 2,313 (-5.3%) 1,706 (-1.9%) 588 (-15.8%) 19 (+280.0%)
2020 10 2,628 (+13.6%) 2,029 (+18.9%) 583 (-0.9%) 16 (-15.8%)
2020 11 2,244 (-14.6%) 1,669 (-17.7%) 571 (-2.1%) 4 (-75.0%)
2020 12 2,380 (+6.1%) 1,839 (+10.2%) 525 (-8.1%) 16 (+300.0%)
2021 1 2,513 (+5.6%) 1,896 (+3.1%) 605 (+15.2%) 11 (-31.3%)
2021 2 2,412 (-4.0%) 1,818 (-4.1%) 580 (-4.1%) 13 (+18.2%)
2021 3 3,542 (+46.8%) 2,647 (+45.6%) 870 (+50.0%) 25 (+92.3%)
Monthly figures - number of permits for new residential buildings + evolution compared to the previous period

The noticeable increase that can be observed in March 2021 is due to the tightening up of energy standards for building applications from 1 January 2021. At the end of 2020, relatively more building applications were submitted to avoid these stricter standards, resulting in a higher number of building permits issued some 3 to 4 months later.

Long term evolution

Since 2007, the number of permits for the renovation of residential buildings was generally higher than the number of permits for the construction of new residential buildings. This changes briefly from the second quarter of 2018 onwards. From February 2019 onwards, the number of permits for the renovation of residential buildings is again higher than the number of permits for the construction of new residential buildings, but the difference remains small. In recent months, new buildings and renovations have been on the same level.

From 2003 onwards, more permits are issued for new apartments than for single family dwellings. During the years 2010-2011, both were at approximately the same level.Afterwards, the difference has been increasing again in favour of the apartments. In 2018, the difference is the greatest. In 2019 and 2020, the gap is narrowing, but in the last few months the difference between the number of new apartments and the number of new single family dwellings has been widening again.

New construction vs renovation                               Single family dwellings vs apartments    

BOUW 1BOUW 2

Chart
Content

Purpose and brief description

A building permit is an authorization to start with the execution of a construction project. The granting of the building permit is therefore the final stage of the approval procedure of the government before the start of construction. This statistic provides an overview of the number of buildings and the number of dwellings for which a building permit has been approved, for new construction, renovation and demolition works.

Population

Building permits issued in Belgium during the reference period of the results

Frequency

Monthly

Timing of publication

Results available 3 months after the reference period

Formen

Metadata

AR

Arrêté royal

Addendum

Addendum