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Germany's booming housing sector expects solid sales growth

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By Reuters
Germany's booming housing sector expects solid sales growth
FILE PHOTO: General view at construction site of residential building in Olching near Munich, Germany August 18, 2016. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle   -   Copyright  Michaela Rehle(Reuters)

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s BVB building association said on Tuesday it expected overall sales to grow by 5% to 354 billion euros (304.9 billion pounds) this year and by 4.2% to 370 billion euros next year.

With exports hit by trade tensions and a global economic slowdown, the bulk of Germany’s economy increasingly depends on its robust domestic spending driven by record-high employment and strong demand in the construction sector.

The housing sector continues to benefit from high demand for real estate especially in urban areas, BVB President Marcus Nachbauer said.

“We therefore expect the completion of about 300,000 to 310,000 new apartments per year in 2019 and 2020,” Nachbauer said.

But he added that there was still a lack of social housing in many cities as the private sector is mainly building standard and high-end apartments that yield higher profits.

The federal government has made available billions of euros for social housing, but the outflow of earmarked funds has been slow due to planning bottlenecks at local authorities and capacity constraints in the construction sector.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Michelle Martin)