16-08-2012 09:51 Belarus
Housing output in Belarus down 5.9%/yr in Jan-Jul to 2.641m sq m
Housing output in Belarus decreased 5.9% on the year in January-July 2012 to 2.641 million square metres (62.9% of the annual target) the National Statistics Committee said in a statement.
Belarus invested Br11.6 million in fixed capital in the housing construction sector ($1.391 bn), which makes 66.8% of fixed capital investments in January-July 2011 and accounts for 15.8% of the total investment volume.
Housing completion in the countryside amounted to 598,800 square metres, down 19.2% on the year in January-July 2012 (22.7% of the total output).
Experts attribute the decline in housing output to the impact of the 2011 financial crisis in Belarus: the Belarusian ruble lost 180% of its value to the U.S. dollar, while the refinancing rate of the National Bank of Belarus grew 34.5 percentage points in 2011 to reach 45% per annum. The rise in interest rates made housing loans less affordable.
According to the official forecast for 2012, Belarus is supposed to build 4.2 million square metres of houses.