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Commercial building plans take a dip

The total value of commercial building plans approved for 2013 is down by 61.5%. Despite the fact that a large number of building plans were approved for commercial and industrial properties, the total annual value of commercial building plans compares poorly to those recorded in 2012. But the  property market as a whole grew strongly despite the slump in commercial building plans. The latest IJG Securities report on building activity recorded 164 building plans to the value of N$132.9 million for December approved by the City of Windhoek bringing the total to 3300 plans for 2013, for all categories of property. For the property market as a whole, the trend remains upwards as a 14.6% increase was recorded in comparison to the previous year which recorded a total of 2904 plans to the value of N$2327.56 billion. 

However, the total value for 2013 was registered at N$2238.56 billion on account of a stronger base period coming through.  Significantly less housing plans were approved in comparison to November. 128 less plans were approved and the value of the plans were down 28.1% month on month. Of the 164 plans, 23 are in Katutura at a value of N$7.4 million while 17 are in the CBD valued at N$44 million and 15 plans are in Klein Windhoek valued at N$10.1 million. The IJG Securities reported pinned the month on month downward trend on seasonal occurrences usually observed during the festive period. It affected both the commercial and residential property sectors. Flats and houses continued to drive the growth pushing the yearly figure up by 12.8% from 2012 with 486 residential properties were recorded in 2013. The total value of flats and houses was N$725.2 million in 2013 in contrast to 2012 which saw only 431 plans approved valued at N$491.5 million, marking a sharp increase. A rather sharp increase in the number of additions for 2013 was recorded and 343 plans were approved, raising the total number of additions to 2721 and bringing the total value to N$1137 billion, N$320.3 million up from the previous year the report noted. The property report states that a large number of non-residential plans were recorded for 2013  inclusive of a backlog of 95 from 2012 bringing the total to 188. The value of commercial and industrial properties amounted to N$392.6 million, down 61.5% from the previous year, on account of a single plan that forms part of the Groove Mall development approved in 2012 valued at N$350 million. Another significant commercial property approval situated in the CBD accounted for 25.4% of the total value of commercial properties approved for December 2013.
Construction was expected to spur growth in the economy for the foreseeable future brought about by aggressive development plans from the private sector and government, the IJG Securities report concluded.

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