German Homebuilding Permits Climb to 10-Year High as Prices Rise

Germany issued the most homebuilding permits in 10 years in 2013 as developers took advantage of rising prices and demand from a growing population.

German authorities issued 270,364 construction permits for apartments and houses, 12.9 percent more than a year earlier, the Federal Statistics Office said in a statement today. That’s the most since 2003, when about 297,000 permits were granted.

“This continues the positive trend which began in 2010,” the statistics office said in the statement.

Construction in Germany is rising as the population grows and developers race to close a housing gap that grew during a 15-year construction slump. The population gained 0.4 percent to 80.8 million in 2013 as immigrants from countries hurt by the European economic crisis searched for jobs.

Permits for units in apartment buildings rose the most, by 22.3 percent, according to the Statistics Office. Permits for units in two-family homes gained 13.3 percent, while single-family dwellings rose 1.1 percent.

German home prices increased 4 percent in 2013 from a year earlier, according to the VDP Association of German Pfandbrief Banks. That’s the most in at least 10 years.

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