The number of works grew by 4.2% compared to 2015, mainly explained by the 16% increase in the province of San Jose and 11% in Guanacaste.
From a report by the INEC:
In 2016, the number of works increased by 4.2% compared to 2015.Overall there was an increase for all provinces, the greatest increase was in the province of San José with 16.4%, followed by Guanacaste with 10.5%.
The value of building permits that were processed five years ago in the districts of La Chorrera and Arraiján amounted to $208 million, while the figure at the end of 2016 is estimated at $313 million.
Growth in real estate development in Panama West could be further enhanced once Line 3 of the Metro starts to operate, and the fourth bridge over the Canal has been built.
If the projections of the union are accurate, between public and private investment, $900 million will be earmarked for new construction projects this year.
Although official figures have not yet been revealed, the Salvadoran Construction Chamber (Casalco) estimates that in 2016 the sector's growth was 2.5%, and realistically this year they predict an overall increase of just 1% more than last year.
The government has granted permits for access to drinking water which were needed by 147 construction projects valued at $1.2 billion, which are expected to be developed over the next three years.
The drinking water feasibility studies which have been finally delivered make up some of the paperwork which has held up for several months, leading to complaints from entrepreneurs who put pressure on the government to expedite these formalities.
The Council of Panama has approved a five month moratorium on the granting of building permits in Punta Pacifica, Coco del Mar, Punta Paitilla and Vina del Mar, in San Francisco.
"...The proposal submitted by the representative of the district of San Francisco, Carlos Perez Herrera, indicates that new projects will be halted for five months until all assessments with the Land Use Plan are completed, a plan which is being carried out by the Municipality of Panama and which was started last year due to the urban disorder in the area."
It has been announced that from February municipal building permits can be processed through a single window and fees can be paid online.
The Nicaraguan Institute of Municipal Development (Inifom) explained that the proceedings will still be managed by municipalities, but can now be made through the one-stop shop located in each departmental capital.
Up to the third quarter of 2016 the total area of constructed buildings fell by 11.5% year on year due to reductions of 18% and 59% in the residential and commercial construction sectors respectively.
Private Construction Report for the III quarter by the Central Bank:
The Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN) published on 29 December 2016, a report on the Private Construction sector for the III quarter.The results indicate that the total area of constructed buildings recorded an annual decrease of 11.5 percent (22.3% of growth in 2015.III), and a reduction of 8.7 percent in the annual average.
The mayoralty of Panama has announced that it will not confirm the increase approved for permits for projects whose values exceed $1 million, until there is dialogue with the construction sector.
Regarding the controversy over the recent decision to increase municipal taxes for building permits, and about which the Panamanian Chamber of Construction (Capac) has said it had no prior knowledge, and that this measure is being taken "at the wrong time" the mayor said that the city council took the decision to give the green light to the measure, although his administration had suggested presenting the proposal to bring the issue to the Committee to discuss it.
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