Construction rebounds from four-year slump

Apr 5, 2018

Construction starts in Cuenca grew by five percent in the first quarter of 2018, the first positive quarter in the building sector in almost four years.

A new housing project in Cuenca (El Tiempo)

“This is excellent news for the construction trades and the real estate business,” says José Jaramillo, president Cuenca’s the Chamber of Construction. “Construction has been stagnant for several years so we are pleased to finally see it turning around.”

Jaramillo cautioned, however, that growth in the industry will be slow at first. “We are emerging from a depression so recovery takes time,” he said, pointing out that building starts were down 40 percent in 2017 over 2016, which was down from 2015.

Jaramillo credits confidence in the economy, the public rejection of a 2016 capital gains tax in the February referendum, and a pent-up demand for housing for spurring new construction activity.

“People see that the economy grew by three percent last year and they feel that the country is finally on the right path,” he says. “Builders are responding to this.”

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