BERLIN, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- From January to July 2019, the construction of a total of 196,400 homes was permitted in Germany, 3.4 percent fewer than in the same period of the previous year, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced on Thursday.
The building permits were valid for new residential buildings as well as for construction measures on existing residential buildings in Germany, Destatis explained.
In the first half of 2019, Destatis had already recorded a 2.3 percent decline in building permits.
The decline was particularly strong for new residential buildings, where 4.1 percent or 7,300 fewer apartments were approved than in the same period of the previous year.
In the German coalition agreement, the CDU and SPD set the target of 1.5 million new apartments by the end of the four-year term in 2021, which would be an average of 375,000 new apartments per year.
However, the government target was not met as only 302,800 new apartments had been approved in 2018, according to Destatis.
The German association of free real estate and housing companies (BFW) believes that a key factor for the decreasing number of building permits in Germany was a problem with the "designation of sufficiently affordable building land by the municipalities."
"New apartments can only be planned if you know where to build them," said BFW President Andreas Ibel on Thursday.