CONSTRUCTION starts, as measured by approved building permits, fell 3.1% year-on-year in the third quarter, dampened by reduced applications to build residences, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Friday.

Citing preliminary result, the PSA said building permits issued during the period totaled 40,795, down from 42,111 a year earlier.

The approved projects cover 9.849 million square meters valued at P114.9 billion, up 9.6% from a year earlier.

Approved applications to build residences, which accounted for 71% of total building permits issued, fell 5.4% year-on-year to 28,975 permits in the three months to September, from 30,638 a year earlier.

Among the various residential categories, declines were recorded in apartments/accessorias (-21.6%); “other residential” construction (-8.8%); residential condominiums (-8.5%); and single-type houses (-5.6%). Approved permits for duplexes/quadruplexes rose 153.7% to 1,243 permits.

Permits for non-residential construction rose 10.1% to 6,586.

Permits issued to build commercial structures grew 12.3% to 4,077, followed by institutional buildings (11.9% to 1,488); industrial buildings (5.4% to 645); and “other non-residential” buildings (0.6% to 163).

Permits for agricultural buildings totaled 213, down 14.5% from a year earlier.

Permits for residential construction were valued at P49.2 billion while non-residential projects were worth P57.6 billion.

Permits for additions to existing structures grew 6.2% to 1,537, valued at P1.4 billion. The number of permits for alterations and repairs of existing structures dropped 8.6% to 3,697, worth a combined P6.7 billion.

Permits issued in the National Capital Region (NCR) amounted to P33.5 billion or 29.2% of the total value. Region IV-A (CALABARZON) accounted for P19.6 billion.

CALABARZON accounted for the most construction starts with 10,212 permits or 25% of the total. Central Luzon had 5,614 permits or 13.8% followed by Central Visayas (11.5%), the NCR (7.8%), and the Ilocos Region (6.5%). — Marissa Mae M. Ramos