Fourteen projects, valued at $188 million, will start running as soon as they have obtained the permits which had previously been held up due to bureaucratic obstacles.
Elmundo.sv reports that "... The projects will start to be executed after the National Administration of Aqueducts and Sewers (ANDA) and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) expedite the granting of permits, said the Government, as a result of joint work with private enterprise. "
The sector grew by 5.8% in the first half of the year, it has seen eight consecutive semesters with positive growth rates.
Business people in the sector believe that the political crisis did not have any negative effects on the sector, which managed to register growth of 5.8% in the first half of the year. The same view is taken of the tax on cement that was declared unconstitutional in August but was charged up until July.
The government has yet to make operational the law streamlining procedures for construction approved in late 2013, delaying the start of projects totaling more than $700 million.
Although it seems hard to believe, a law which was approved more than a year ago can not be implemented due to the lack of "real will to make the necessary changes." Meanwhile, construction projects estimated at about $700 million can not advance, having been drowned in excessive state bureaucracy.
The total number of square meters of construction sites authorized in the first nine months of the year in the municipalities of the metropolitan area increased by 8.9% compared to the same period in 2013.
From January to September of this year authorization was given for the construction of 1.6 million square meters of buildings, similar to that reported in 2013 which was for 1.8 million square meters, in other words, it is expected that by the end of 2014 an increase in the amount of construction will be reported.
The union of construction companies has estimated at the close of 2014 that investments made during the year on construction projects in the country will be worth about $5.6 billion.
McGowen Roderick, president of the Panamanian Chamber of Construction (CAPAC), said during the inauguration of the construction fair CAPAC Expo, "... according to the most conservative projections sector investment for this year will amount a total of approximately $5.65 billion. "
The recently approved amendment to the Housing Act provides a subsidy of 2.5% in the interest rate for mortgage loans that are not greater than $32,000.
Responding to industry demands and seeking to motivate the new housing market, the recently approved reform also provides, as well as the subsidy, that any bank can apply the exemption of 15% from Value Added Tax (VAT) for mortgage loans with this same ceiling rate.
Construction companies are optimistic about the pace of homes being sold, which will allow the sector to achieve more than the projected target for 2013 of 5000 housing solutions.
According to an article in elnuevo diario.com.ni the president of the Chamber of Builders, Cadur, Ricardo Melendez, said "In the first three months of the year in Nicaragua 1,500 homes were sold, of which 900 were social interest homes (with a maximum value of $20,000) and interest rates of between 5.5 and 8%. "
The construction sector has kept the same pace of growth since the start of the year.
A press release from the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Panama reads:
The construction sector has kept the same pace of growth since the start of the year. Total investment in construction projects increased by 45.3% totaling B/.918.4 million ($918.4 million), 38.2% for residential projects and 61.8% for other purposes, highlights the latest report issued by the Directorate of Social and Economic Analysis at the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
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