A total of 235 building plans were approved in November and represents a 46.9% m/m increase from the 160 building plans approved in October. In value terms approvals increased by more than N$80 million to N$172 million in October from N$88.46 million approved in September. Total completions fell from the 88 recorded in October to 67 for November. In value terms however, completions increased by 67.1% m/m with N$86.85 million worth of completions registered in November. Year to date, N$2.09 billion worth of building plans have been approved, an increase of 12.2% y/y. On a twelve-month cumulative basis, 1,932 building plans have been approved worth approximately N$2.19 billion, 13.6% higher in value terms than the cumulative approvals registered in November 2016.
Additions to properties made up 197 approvals out of the total 235 approved plans recorded in November. Year-to-date, 1,484 additions to properties have been approved, increasing by 12.5% y/y and rising 14.7% y/y in value terms. With 2017 drawing to a close, year-to-date total approvals, in value terms, have surpassed the N$1.97 billion approvals registered in 2016 with N$119 million. By that account 2017 has, albeit marginally, been a better year than 2016 for commercial and residential real estate.
33 new residential units were approved in November, 12 more than the 21 approved in October. Year-to-date residential approvals showed further improvement with 277 new approvals, 36 units more than in the corresponding period in 2016. In value terms, N$407.9 million worth of new residential units have been approved year-to-date, a 22% contraction compared to November 2016.
Commercial and industrial building plans approved amount to 5 units, worth N$16 million for November. This is a month-on-month decline of 44.4% in the number of plans approved and a 31% decline in value terms as well. Year-to-date 46 plans for commercial and industrial purposes have been approved, a far cry from the 76 building plans approved in the corresponding period in 2016. However, in value terms, 2017 is on course to exceed the N$482.3 million registered in 2016, with year-to-date value of commercial and industrial plans approved already at N$691.3 million. Reason for this being one large commercial plan approved in May this year that has buoyed the value of approvals considerably for 2017. This approval alone accounts for 72% of commercial and industrial building plans approved this year. Stripping out this single commercial property development would result in a contraction compared to 2016.
From a 12-month cumulative perspective, 1,932 building plans have been approved in November, increasing by 13% compared to corresponding period in 2016. Additions to properties exceeded new developments by more than four times. While private sector credit continuously slowed since the start of 2017, currently at 5.2% in October. Total mortgage loans extended to the private sector grew at an average of 8.2% during 2017. This is slower than the growth in mortgage loans of 11.7% recorded in 2016. Consumers and businesses will now look to 2018 in hopes of some relief, however recent downgrades and the potential of further downgrades in South Africa point to greater possibilities of a rate hiking cycle, which would put further pressure on consumers and will further delay a much needed economic recovery.