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Decrease in value of construction permits despite projects uptick

Despite an uptick in the number of construction projects near the end of 2018, the most recent data on the industry from the Department of Statistics reflects fewer dollars are being spent overall.

In the third quarter of 2018, there was a boom in the number of new construction permits issued by the Ministry of Public Works by 37.2 percent, compared to the same period a year before, according to the Building Construction Statistics report. However, that growth was offset by a decrease in the value of those projects, due mainly to a significant drop in spending on New Providence in particular.

“The number of new construction permits issued in the third quarter of 2018 (413) was higher than in the third quarter 2017 by 112 or 37.2 percent. In contrast, the value of permits issued over this period decreased from $137.7 million in 2017 to $118.8 million in 2018. The main reason for this decrease in value was a $43.3 million drop in the value of permits issued for the private sector in New Providence,” the report notes.

This is in contrast to the second quarter of 2018 – prior to the implementation of 12 percent value-added tax (VAT), which saw the issuance of 391 new construction permits valued at $200 million.

There was also an increase in new construction starts by 41 percent, with 123 starts recorded for the third quarter of 2018 compared to the 87 recorded during the same period in 2017.

“However, during the same period, the value of construction starts decreased overall by $4.5 million. This decrease in value was mainly in the private/residential sector of Grand Bahama, which dropped by $14.6 million, but this was mitigated by the overall increase in New Providence starts value of $9.4 million,” the report notes.

“The number of construction completions in the third quarter of 2018 (192) showed an increase of 29 when compared with the same period in 2017 (163). In contrast, the value of construction completions decreased, led by a drop in the New Providence private/residential sector of $10.3 million or 25 percent.”

Paige McCartney

Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas.
Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016.
Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News
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