Building permits in 2021

Building permits across Germany 

The statistics for the first half of 2021 reveal a forward-looking picture with a significant increase in construction permits.


From January to August 2021, 7.7 % more building permits were issued than in the same period of the previous year, amounting to 186,000 new housing units, as the figures of Statistisches Bundesamt reveal. This increase is mainly owed to detached-family houses (+37.5 %), followed by detached houses (+10.7 %). Permits for multi-family houses only grew by +1.9 %, residential homes/dormitories fell by -9.2 %.

In comparison, the year 2020, which was greatly marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, the total number of building permits grew only by 2.2 per cent.

However, not all building permits will automatically become contructed housings, as the Industriegewerkschaft Building, Agriculture and the Environment (IG Bau) commented on the statistics. Uncertainty is characterising the construction industry, shortage of material supply and price increases as well as disrupted supply chains have been aggravating since the beginning Corona crisis.

The construction industry is calling for planning security in order to build-up enough resources for building activity, such as medium- to long-term commitments for the promotion of social and affordable housing construction.

Decline in building permits in Berlin

The never-ending housing market crisis in the German capital calls for a more and accelerated construction activity.

Despite this, and against the nation-wide trend, Berlin has registered a decline of new building permits: The number dropped by 28.8% from January to August compared to the 1st half of 2020 to 8,255 units.

In particular, a notable decrease of 31.5% (to 7,403 housing units) in approvals was registered for multi-family buildings. To compare with, the number was 10,809in he first half of 2020. Detached and semi-detached houses saw a 24.2% increase in building permits, amounting in 770 flats.

Berlin Spandau and Treptow-Köpenick are the boroughs with the highest building permit approvals.

On a positive note, 893 more flats will be added to the housing market due to construction measures on existing buildings, e.g. attic conversions and changes of use. This is 25.3 per cent less than in the 1st half of 2020.

A total 1,828 permits for construction projects (residential and non-residential) were reported by Berlin´s building supervisory authorities for this period.

118 commercial bulding permits with total floor space of 342,580 m² (1st half of 2020: 128) were reported by the authorities from January to August 2021.

Sources: destatis.de | berlinboxx.de statistik-berlin-brandenburg.de