Construction activity in the first four months of this year recorded a slowdown as revealed by the second consecutive yearly drop of total permits. The drop is attributed to the wait-and-see mood impeding investors from initiating new projects on the back of fears that violence will spill over from neighboring Syria. According to the latest figures released by the Order of Engineers in Beirut and Tripoli, the area of newly issued construction permits reached 4,716,030 square meters in the first four months of 2012, down by 10.5 percent relative to the same period of 2011. Last year, the appetite for commencing construction projects was more evident as revealed by the 3.1 percent year-on-year increase during the first four months of 2011. During the month of April 2012, construction permits witnessed a year-on-year decline of 26.5 percent relative to the same month of 2011, pursuing a downward trend observed over the previous months of the year. During the first four months of 2012, most of the demand for construction permits originated mainly from Mount Lebanon, which captured a 53.4 percent share of total permits.
From The Daily Star