Eighteen months since the implementation of currency controls intended to protect Argentina’s dollar reserves, new construction activity in the City of Buenos Aires is grinding to a halt.
According to new data from the City’s Ministry of Housing, the number of requests for new construction permits fell 84.6% in the first two months of the year compared to the same period of 2012.
In January and February of this year, BA builders and developers submitted requests to commence only 49 new buildings with a total square footage of 415,600 square feet (38,600 m2) compared to 187 buildings with over 2.7 million square feet (251,000 m2) in the first two months of 2012.
The City received 28 permit requests in February, the most recent month for which data is available. Of those requests, 18 were for new construction and 10 were for renovations to existing structures.
Half of the new construction permits (9) were for 117 new units to be built in mid-rise condominium buildings, while half of the renovation requests (5) were for adding less than 7,000 square feet (650 m2) to 5 single-family homes. (Click here to view the City’s February 2013 PDF.)
Clarin’s Natalia Muscatelli says the lack of new construction is having an obvious impact in the labor market. By some estimates, the construction industry in Buenos Aires has shed over 140,000 positions in the past year. (Full Story in Spanish)
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