Building permits

Permitted dwellings

Most building permits since 2005 were issued in the 3rd quarter of 2020; despite Corona-related restrictions, there has been a comparatively high level of approval activity throughout the year to date

Around 23 900 apartments were approved for construction in the third quarter of 2020. Not included are the units to be built in Vienna by means of acquisition, construction or conversion of existing buildings. This means the highest result of all reference quarters has been achieved since 2005. It was almost 16% or 3 300 units above that of the previous year. Even compared to the previous peak of 2017 there was an increase of almost 12% or 2 500 apartments. Compared to the other values back to 2011, there were consistently increases that varied between around 29% or 5 400 (compared to the 3rd quarter of 2016) and more than 76% or almost 10 400 apartments (compared to the reference quarter of 2012).

The approvals in the entire course of the year to date - around 54 900 apartments excluding additions, construction and renovation activities in Vienna - reached fourth place after 2017, followed by 2019 and 2016: Compared to the front runner from 2017 (with around 61 300 apartments) the decrease was slightly more than a tenth or around 6 400 in absolute terms, compared to 2019 (with over 57 800 building permits) to a little more than a twentieth (which corresponded to almost 3 000 in absolute terms), compared to 2016 (with almost 56 800 permits) by more than 3% (or 1 900 entities). In relation to the other reference figures discussed here there were consistently increases that varied between not quite 3% or around 1 300 approved apartments (first three quarters of 2018) and around 39% or 15 400 in absolute terms (compared to 2012).  
This result or the corresponding historical development was based predominantly on the large-volume residential construction: While the share of the respective total residential construction output in the first three quarters of 2011 to 2016 was on average almost half, it rose in the peak periods of the first three quarters 2017 to 2019 to less than 57% and in the current period of 2020 it still achieved a little more than 52%. From a regional perspective, the federal capital is gaining in importance because, unlike in the other federal states, construction activity here is largely concentrated on multi-storey residential construction. In the aforementioned period of the first three quarters of 2011 to 2016, not quite 28% of all apartments in larger residential buildings were approved in the federal capital alone. In the reference period 2017 to 2019 this share increased to more than 40% and is currently still a remarkable 38%.

Permitted new buildings

The new buildings approved in the 3rd quarter of 2020 have achieved their highest result since 2005; despite Corona-related restrictions, the entire year so far has also shown consistently increases

Around 8 700 new buildings were approved for construction in the third quarter of 2020. That was the highest result so far since 2005. Compared to the same period of the previous year the increase was 23% or slightly more than 1 600 entities. The assessment of the development since 2011 shows consistently higher increases, which with plus 38% or 2 400 buildings reached the highest level compared to the 3rd quarter of 2012.

The around 22 400 new buildings initiated in the entire nine months of 2020 also showed a similar picture over time, albeit at a lower level: The current number here was around 4% (i.e. around 900 properties) above the same period of the previous year, proven when looking at the other expansions those again as the largest compared to 2012 (a quarter or almost 4 500 absolute).  
Since the multi-storey residential building with many units per property (mainly in the federal capital) dominated the course of the apartments, the development (and distribution) of new buildings differs from that of the apartments with building permits. 74% of all new buildings approved in the first three quarters of 2020 were residential buildings, approximately 88% of which were single and two-family houses. In four federal states this proportion was significantly higher in single-storey residential buildings: in Burgenland and Lower Austria it was around 95% and just under 94%, in Upper Austria and Carinthia around 92% each. All other federal states were below the national average for single-storey residential buildings mentioned above; the corresponding value was, as expected, the lowest in the federal capital (62%).

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.