Building permits

Permitted dwellings

Building permits in the 1st quarter of 2020 slumped by a quarter compared to the previous year

Around 13 700 apartments were approved for construction in the first quarter of 2020. It does not include the units to be built in Vienna by means of acquisition, construction or conversion of existing buildings. Not least because of the loss of work due to the corona lockdown from mid-March, this resulted in a reporting result that was a quarter (absolutely around 4 400) lower than in the reference period 2019. There was a significantly greater influence on reports from multi-storey residential buildings: in the current reporting quarter, a decline of 34% or almost 3 400 apartments compared to the previous year was observed, which in turn can be attributed to almost half (46% or not quite 1 600 in absolute terms) to the federal capital was.  
From a regional point of view, the highest proportionate failures of all building permits issued were in Tyrol (38%) compared to the previous year, followed by Carinthia (35%) and Vienna (34%). Salzburg also posted a result of almost 27%, a result above the federal average reported at the beginning. All other federal states showed below-average declines, which varied between about a fifth (in Lower Austria 20% followed by Upper Austria with around 18%) and around a tenth (Burgenland 12%, Styria 10%, Vorarlberg 8%).

In 2019 as a whole, the historically second highest approval result was achieved after the peak of 2017

With only two exceptions (2012 and 2018), residential building permit activity has consistently shown annual increases since 2010, ranging between 4% or 2 800 units (increase in 2014 to 2015) and 14% or 7 300 entities (increase in 2010 to 2011) scattered. In 2012, around 9% or 5 400 fewer permits were reported than in the previous year. In 2018, too, there was a decline compared to the previous year (14% or approximately 11 400), whereby in 2017 with around 81 300 apartments approved for construction, the current high of the entire time series - even back to the 1970s - represents. The current year 2019 ranks second with over 77 800 building permits, which on the one hand corresponded to an 4% decrease (about 3 400 units) compared to the maximum value, but on the other hand reversed the decline in 2018 (by plus) 11% or 8 000 absolute).

Multi-storey residential building dominant (federal capital)

The development of large-volume residential construction is very clear: If the corresponding value still represented 41% of the total residential construction work in 2010, it was already 61% in 2017. A year later it fell back to 54%, to rise again to 58% in the most recent reporting period. The permits of the federal capital thus became more important, since the contribution to multi-storey residential construction is very clear here: The share of multi-storey residential permits in Austria's total residential construction work, which averaged around 15% from 2010 to 2016 in Vienna, rose to 26% in 2017, fell to a fifth the year after, and now reached about 24% in 2019.

Permitted new buildings

The new buildings approved in the first quarter of 2020 were almost 6% below those of the previous year

In the 1st quarter of 2020, 6 200 new buildings were approved for construction. This was - partly due to Corona - an almost 6% or around 400 absolutely lower result than in the comparable period last year.  
Almost 76% of the objects approved for construction in the first quarter of 2020 were residential buildings, including 89% one- and two-family houses. Since the course of the multi-storey residential building discussed with the apartments was dominated with many units per property (mainly in the federal capital), the temporal development (and distribution) of new buildings differs from that of the building permits.

The new buildings approved throughout 2019 represented the highest result since 2010, only a few of the objects were age groups

Around 27 600 new buildings were approved in 2019 throughout Austria. That was the highest value since 2010. The extensions to be determined ranged from around 1% or 400 properties (compared to the next highest value in the previous year) to around 19% or 4 300 absolute (compared to the lowest number from 2012).

Around 6% or 1 600 of all new buildings approved in 2019 represented age rates. In the case of residential buildings, this proportion was about one percentage point higher (which corresponded to about 1 400 age rates), the majority of non-residential properties were 3% (or 200 absolute).

Please consult our German website for further information. Detailed results dating back to the 1st quarter of 2005 are available there.

Some of these figures are estimated and preliminary.