The City of Windhoek approved a total of 232 building plans in August, representing a 21.6% m/m decrease from the 296 building plans approved in July. In value terms, the approvals were valued at N$226.3 million, a 19.8% decline from the N$282.0 million approved in July. So far in 2022 there have been 1,667 approvals, worth N$1.26 billion. This year-to-date figure is 4.8% higher in number terms and 1.2% higher in value terms than at the same time last year. On a twelve-month cumulative basis, the number of approvals has risen by 0.4% y/y to 2,527 but the value of these approvals has declined by 2.3% y/y to N$1.98 billion. The number of completions for August came in at 79, valued at N$79.0 million.

Additions to properties made up the largest portion of approvals in both number and value terms. 169 additions to properties were approved valued at N$147.8 million, decreasing by 5.6% m/m in number terms but increasing 37.9% m/m in value terms, the highest value of approvals in a single month since January 2018. It should however be noted that N$100 million worth of additions to the Lady Pohamba Hospital in Kleine Kuppe alone made up 67.7% of this total. Year-to-date 1,093 additions to properties have been approved with a value of N$642.5 million, an 11.2% y/y increase in number terms and a 37.9% y/y increase in value terms. 37 Additions worth N$19.6 million were completed in August.

New residential units were the second largest contributor to the number and value of building plans approved with 55 approvals registered in August compared to 112 in July. In value terms N$40.9 million worth of residential units were approved in August, an 75.8% m/m decrease from the high base in July, and a 51.4% y/y decline. On a 12-month cumulative basis, the number of residential units approved fell by 12.6% y/y to 801. 25 New residential units worth N$19.0 million were completed during August, a 26.7% m/m decrease in value terms.

8 New commercial and industrial units valued at N$37.7 million were approved in August. This compares to 5 units valued at N$20.4 million in August 2021 and is the highest number of approvals since February 2020. Year-to-date there have been 30 commercial and industrial building approvals valued at N$101.1 million, translating to a 20.0% y/y increase in number, and a 15.1% y/y increase in value terms compared to the same period last year. On a rolling 12-month perspective, the number of commercial and industrial approvals increased to 42 units worth N$184.6 million, compared to the 34 approved units worth N$143.0 million over the corresponding period a year ago. One commercial and industrial unit worth N$2.2 million was completed in August.

As shown in the figure above, the cumulative value of building plans approved has been ticking up slightly in nominal terms in recent months but continues to trend down in inflation-adjusted terms The 12-month cumulative value of plans completed however continues trend down in both nominal and real terms, as shown in the graph below.

On a 12-month cumulative basis, 2,527 building plans to the value of N$1.98 billion were approved which represents a 0.4% y/y increase in number terms but a 2.3 y/y decrease in value terms. Additions to properties continue to make up most of the cumulative approvals at 66.6% in number terms. The number of commercial and industrial approvals have increased by 23.5% y/y on a 12-month cumulative basis, despite remaining in a single-digit territory since March 2020, indicating that it is from a very low base. As mentioned earlier, the 8 commercial building plan approvals in August was the highest since February 2020. While the number of approvals of a single month cannot be used to infer a change in trend, the relatively high number of commercial approvals in August is still encouraging as it indicates that some corporates are expanding their operations. Completed building plans increased by 29.4% y/y in value terms to N$984.0 million on a 12-month cumulative basis, the first increase since June 2021.