Residential building permits issued in Germany dropped 7.0 per cent on the year in the first six months of 2017, data showed on Thursday.
Germany, the largest national economic country of Europe, issued some 13,400 fewer residential building permits in the first half of the year 2017 compared with the first six months of 2016, data released by the Federal Statistics Office showed.
A breakdown of the data showed permits were issued for nearly 150,000 new dwellings and construction work was approved for more than 20,000 existing buildings.
The total of some 170,000 permits represented a year-on-year fall of 7.3 per cent, suggesting that construction and furnishing firms could expect fewer orders in the coming months.
Approvals for the "hostel residences" sub-category, which also includes shelters for asylum seekers, plunged 32 per cent on the year to 8,461.
In the "apartment building" sub-category, viewed as crucial to avert housing shortages in urban areas, the number of approvals rose against the trend by 2.0 per cent to over 82,000.
This was the highest level recorded in the first half of a year in 20 years, the office said.
In 2016, new residential building permits issued in Germany jumped by more than 20 per cent on the year to reach a 17-year-high at 375,400 units.
Higher investment in buildings contributed to a growth rate of 0.6 per cent in the second quarter, the Federal Statistics Office said on Tuesday.
Construction also drove overall economic growth last year, contributing 0.3 percentage points to a GDP expansion rate of 1.9 per cent, the strongest rate in half a decade, according to Reuters.