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UPDATE - Completed homes drop 38.4%, home building permits down 34.8% in January-September

The number of completed new homes in Hungary for which permits to use were issued declined 38.4% yr/yr to 8,147 in the first nine months of 2011, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Wednesday.

The number of building permits issued for homes fell 34.8% from a year earlier to 8,869 in January-September 2011.

The number of completed homes fell at a somewhat bigger pace than in the previous quarter; the drop of newly issued building permits slowed from a year earlier, KSH noted.

Permits issued in the first nine months for the construction of residential buildings were for a total useful space of 959,400 square meters, 26.6% less than a year earlier, KSH said.

The number of completed new homes in Hungary with permits issued dropped 35% to 20,823 in 2010. The number of building permits issued for homes fell 39% to 17,353 in 2010, earlier KSH figures show.

The average area of completed homes for which utilization permits were issued in January-September was 100.4 square meters, up from 93.0 the same period last year. The average ranged from 70.6 square meters in Budapest to 127.5 in villages.

The number of construction permits issued for non-residential buildings fell 5.1% to 3,626 in first nine months of 2011. These permits were for a total useful space of 1,498,800 square meters, 36.3% under the figure a year earlier.

The number of permits issued for industrial buildings rose 6.0% to 672 in the first nine months of 2011, but that for commercial use dropped 18.4% to 199. The number of permits for agricultural buildings declined 11.8% to 995 from a year earlier. The useful floor space fell in every segment.

The number of new home building permits issued fell in most region of the country in January-September, with the steepest drops, of 54.3% in Baranya county (SW Hungary), 48.6% in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county (NE Hungary) and 46.3% in Central Hungary, including a 61.8% drop in Budapest. The number rose in Central and Western Transdanubia, by 7.1% and 13.3%, respectively. Southern Hungary registered a drop of 30.4%.