Building permits

Permitted dwellings

Building permits in the 3rd quarter as well as in the entire year to date in 2021 declined

Around 17 800 apartments were approved for construction in the third quarter of 2021. It does not include the units created in Vienna by adding, building or converting existing buildings. This achieved a result that was roughly the same as that of 2018 and was sixth below the median of the reference quarters back to 2012 (17 900 apartments). It had around 21% or 4 900 units fewer than in the same period of the previous year. Compared to the top comparative value from 2017, there was a decrease of 22% or 5 100 in absolute terms. A significant decrease of 18% or 3 900 apartments could also be quantified compared to 2019. The largest expansion by far - 30% or 4 100 in absolute terms - was shown by the current figure compared to the 3rd quarter of 2012.

The permits in the entire nine months to date have shown a similar temporal distribution: These currently around 55 500 apartments (not including additions, refurbishment or renovation activities in Vienna) did not quite reach the median of the last ten three quarters (55 700) and also occupied the same period immediately after the reference period 2018 sixth rank. Compared to the previous year (with approx. 58 000 permits) the decrease was around 4% (2 500 absolute), compared to the front runner from 2017 (63 000 apartments) it was 12% or 7 400.  
The development is characterized by the multi-storey residential building, which currently accounts for around 26 500 units: Compared to the 31 200 apartments approved in the first three quarters of the previous year, there was now a decline of around 15% or 4 800. The previously mentioned declines compared to the reference periods from 2019 to 2016 had mostly significantly higher values in the area of larger residential buildings: Compared to 2019 with around 22% or 7 600 units, compared to 2017 with minus 31% or 11 700 units, in relation to 2016 with approx. 19% or 6 200 permits.  
From a regional perspective, the federal capital is gaining in importance because, unlike in the other federal states, construction activity here is predominantly concentrated on multi-storey residential construction. The share of these larger Viennese residential buildings in Austria's total residential construction output averaged around 12% in the first nine months of 2012 to 2015, increased significantly to around 22% in the reference periods from 2016 to 2020 and was around 17% in the current period.  
With a total of 11 200 apartments initiated in the first three quarters, approval activity in Lower Austria in 2021 was noticeably high. In a ten-year comparison, this result represents a peak value in this federal state: The corresponding expansions compared to previous reference times ranged between around 8% or 800 entities (compared to 2017 and 2018) and around 52% or 3 900 permits (2012). Even compared to 2020, building permits have been increased by a considerable 22% or 2 100 more apartments in the current period.

Building permits for new buildings

The number of new buildings approved in the 3rd quarter of 2021 was at the level of the previous year, and that for the entire year to date is consistently higher than in the last ten years

Around 8 000 new buildings were approved for construction in the third quarter of 2021. This meant that the result was only around 1% or 100 buildings lower than in the same period of the previous year. Compared to the other historical values, the current number shows increases that are between roughly a tenth or 800 in absolute terms (compared to the 3rd quarter of 2019 and 2016) and a quarter or around 1 600 approved buildings (2013 and 2012) scattered.  
Around 70% of the properties approved for construction in the third quarter of 2021 were residential buildings, including around 88% single and two-family houses.

The around 25 300 new buildings initiated in the course of the year 2021 so far showed a not dissimilar picture: Compared to the previous ten years these have consistently achieved expansions, which fluctuated between 15% or 3 300 in absolute terms compared to the same period of the previous year and 40% or 7 200 permits compared to 2012.  
Around 69% of all new properties approved in the first three quarters of 2021 were residential buildings, slightly more than 89% of which were single and two-family houses.

Since the multi-storey residential building with many units per property (mainly in the federal capital) dominates, the development (and distribution) of new buildings over time differs fundamentally from that of the apartments with building approval.

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.