Some 10,699 construction permits for one-family homes and apartment buildings were granted in Belgium in the first 3 months of the year, which is 40% fewer than in the same quarter last year, according to data published by the Ministry of the Economy on Wednesday. The number of permits granted was especially high in the first quarter of 2014 (17,621). Figures had been boosted by the announced implementation of stricter energy norms in Flanders in early 2015. Many families hurried to apply for a permit in order to come under the previous norms.
The first quarter of 2015 is thus a perfectly normal one, in spite of the lowest figure for permits granted in 4 years. Overall, some 54,173 permits were granted in 2014. This is the first time in 6 years that the 50,000 threshold was exceeded.