Updated at 5.55pm: The Buildings Department said on Wednesday it had approved 12 building plans in May - four on Hong Kong Island, one in Kowloon and seven in the New Territories. Of the 12 approved plans, four were for apartment and apartment/commercial developments, one for commercial developments, three for factory and industrial developments and four for community services developments. In the same month, consent was given for work to start on 17 building projects that, when complete, will provide 185,609 square metres of gross floor area for domestic use, involving 2,821 units, and 76,998 square metres of gross floor area for non-domestic use. The department said it had also issued 17 occupation permits - four on Hong Kong Island, four in Kowloon and nine in the New Territories. Of the buildings certified for occupation, the gross floor areas for domestic uses were 33,668 square metres, involving 492 units, and 209,445 square metres for non-domestic use. The cost of the new buildings completed in May totalled about $4.495 billion. In addition, four demolition consents involving four building structures were issued. In recent months, Hong Kong's property market has showed signs of recovery after years of decline following the 1997 Asian economic crisis. The recovery has been attributed to factors such as pent-up demand, record low interest rates and a global economic recovery.