In the first half of this year the number of residential building permits issued were close to the pre-Covid 19 levels, thus suggesting that the construction industry has significantly recovered from the slowdown caused by the pandemic two years ago.

Moreover, the biggest number of dwellings approved between April and June of 2022 were in Siggiewi with 227, followed by Mosta where 122 dwellings were approved and surprisingly Sannat with 111 residential units approved. The geographic distribution of approved dwellings indicates the rapid growth of the construction industry in Gozo, which has fuelled concerns that the unique character of the iconic sister island could be threatened.  In the case of Sannat, a village with a population of just 1,913 an overnight addition of more than 100 dwellings might have a huge demographic, infrastructural and social impact.

In total during the second quarter of 2022, 438 building permits were issued comprising 2,164 new dwellings which is higher than any quarter in both 2020 and 2021. This translates to about five dwellings per building permit, meaning that most of the applications were for apartment blocks.

In fact, during the second quarter of this year the majority of new dwellings were apartments (1,527), followed by penthouses (336), maisonettes (191), terraced houses (93) and other units such as bungalows, farmhouses and villas. The total number of approved dwellings was 16.4% higher than in the second quarter of 2021.

From a regional perspective, between April and June the highest number of approved new dwellings was in the Northern Harbour district with 514. This region comprises Birkirkara; Il-Gżira; Ħal Qormi; Il-Ħamrun; L-Imsida; Pembroke; San Ġwann; Santa Venera; San Ġiljan; Is-Swieqi; Ta’ Xbiex; Tal-Pietà; Tas-Sliema. Gozo ranked second with 479 new dwellings approved. On the other hand the Southern Harbour District (Bormla; Il-Fgura; Floriana; Ħal Luqa; Ħaż-Żabbar; Il-Kalkara; Il-Marsa; Raħal Ġdid; Santa Luċija; L-Isla; Ħal Tarxien; Valletta; Il-Birgu; Ix-Xgħajra) saw the lowest number with 161 new dwellings approved.