Construction projects for nearly BGN 13 billion BGN Levs have been implemented last year

Construction projects for nearly BGN 13 billion BGN Levs have been implemented last year

The trend in the sector is to increase employment and reduce unemployment, shows the annual analysis of The Bulgarian Construction Chamber

Construction projects, totaling 12.9 billion BGN Levs were executed in the construction sector in 2017, which indicates that the output in construction sector increased by 11.7%, compared to 2016. However, it remained below the level of 17,8 billion BGN levs, reached in 2015 when the previous programming period of the European Union funds was completed. This becomes clear from the annual analysis of The Bulgarian Construction Chamber, published on its website.

By March 2018, the construction companies in Bulgaria were 4956, of which 4913 Bulgarian and 43 foreign, as seen in the report. 98.3% of them are small companies, with net sales revenue, or assets value by 2016 up to 19.5 million BGN Levs. The medium sized companies, with net revenues, or value of the assets up to 97.5 million BGN Levs are 79 and the big companies, with revenues, or value of assets above that amount are only five, according to the Chamber’s data, based on the Central Professional Register of Constructors.

Last year, the construction of buildings continued to drive overall construction output and the infrastructure construction growth slightly slowed. The trend in the sector, as a whole, is to increase the employment and reduce the unemployment, is said in The Bulgarian Construction Chamber report.

In 2017, the production of building construction amounted to 7.2 billion BGN Levs and formed a 56% share in the total output of the sector for the year. The construction of dwellings achieved a growth of 17.9%, compared to 2016, but remained below the level of 8.8 billion BGN Levs in 2015 and is almost twice lower than the 2008 peak when it was in amounting to 14.5 billion BGN Levs.

The production output in the engineering construction in 2017 reached 5.6 billion BGN Levs, or a share of 44% in the total construction output last year. It grew by 4.7% on an annual basis, but also remained below the level in 2015 with 8.9 billion BGN Levs.

Building construction

The issued construction permits for new buildings last year totals 11 149, with a total built-up area of almost 6.6 million square meters. Of these, 5562 are permits for residential buildings, with 24 969 dwellings and a total built-up area 3.2 million square meters. There were also issued 127 construction permits for administrative buildings and offices with a total built-up area of nearly 220 thousand square meters and 5460 permits for other buildings with a total built-up area of 3.1 million square meters.

Compared to 2016, the construction permits issued increased by 19.1%, while the total built-up area increased by 20.4%. In the residential and other buildings, was registered a growth by 23.2% and 16.5% respectively, while the construction permits for administrative and building decreased by 22.1%.

The Bulgarian Construction Chamber noted that the residential and industrial segment will remain the most active in the next few years.

In 2017, the most construction permits were issued in Plovdiv – 843 with 5022 dwellings in them, in Sofia were issued permits for construction of 827 residential buildings with 8716 dwellings in them and in Varna was approved the construction of 507 residential buildings with 2624 dwellings.

Plovdiv also leads in issued construction permits for other buildings – 670, followed by Stara Zagora with 507 and Sofia with 480. The approved construction of administrative and office buildings decreases in the three largest cities in the country in 2017, compared to 2016. In Sofia, 24 construction permits were issued, compared to 30 in 2016. In Plovdiv, the issued permits were 16, compared to 24 two years ago, while in Varna they were 16 from 20 in the previous year.

In 2017, the construction of 6764 new buildings with a total area of about 4 million square meters was started, of which 3681 are residential buildings with 14 684 dwellings, 84 administrative and office buildings and 2999 other buildings.

Again, Plovdiv is a leader with 587 new residential buildings in 2017, with 1323 dwellings in them. Sofia follows, with 544 residential buildings, with 4897 dwellings in them and Varna with 390 new residential buildings with 2279 dwellings in them. Plovdiv also leads with the segment of other buildings with 388, followed by Stara Zagora with 347 and Sofia with 276.

Last year in Sofia was started the construction of 10 new office and administrative buildings, as well as 7 in Stara Zagora and 6 in Plovdiv.

In 2017, the construction of villas and houses increased and housing blocks / mansions and mixed-type buildings can be seen a decrease, The Bulgarian Construction Chamber noted.

The newly built residential buildings put in operation in 2017 are 2 212 with 8 391 dwellings in them and a total built-up area of 732 698 square meters. Compared to the newly built residential buildings put into operation in 2016, there is an increase by 2,4%, but at the same time, the dwellings in them decreased by 10.2% and also the total built-up area by 6.7%.

Varna is the leader with 354 newly built residential buildings put in operation last year, with 2342 dwellings in them. Bourgas is followed by 330 residential buildings with 2233 dwellings in them and Plovdiv with 272 residential buildings and 920 dwellings in them.

The trend in these areas compared to the previous year is for increase of the number of dwellings put in operation, the biggest in Sofia region – 23.3%, followed by Varna region with a growth of 6.9%, Plovdiv and Burgas respectively with 3.8% and 2.8% growth on an annual basis.

Unemployment is decreasing, wages are rising

Construction workers, occupied in the sector increased by 0.1% last year and the unemployed in the sector decreased by 33.1%, according to the data of the Chamber. The labor costs for employers in 2017 reach 1.2 billion BGN Levs, which is a growth of 3.5%, compared to 2016. The average annual salary in the sector last year was 9857 BGN Levs and it grew up by 6.1% on an annual basis.

The direct investments in construction last year amounted to EUR 72.3 million and make a share of 8% of the total investments in the country, compared to 2016 they decrease by 36%. According to preliminary data, direct investments abroad for 2017 were EUR 275.6 million, or EUR 44.6 million less than in 2016.


In 2017, the public procurements in the construction sector were 2435, as the estimated value of them is sligthly over 6 billion BGN Levs. On an annual basis, the number of public procurement contracts decreased by 13.4% and their amount decreased by 50.1%.

Public procurements in the engineering infrastructure were 3.8 billion BGN Levs, followed by energy infrastructure with 927 million BGN Levs and construction of dwellings with 607 million BGN Levs.

The state budget is a major source of funding with 1646 public procurements, followed by the European program Regional Development with 605 public procurements.

According to the data of the Public Procurement Agency, the contracts, signed in the construction sector in 2017 are 2764, with a total estimated value of 2.5 million BGN Levs. The energy infrastructure retains its position as a leading sector with the highest number of contracts, signed and afterwards are the engineering infrastructure, the dwellings and the water-supply construction.

In the amount of the contracts, the engineering infrastructure takes the lead, overtaking the energy infrastructure. After them, the construction of dwellings and water-supply constructions remain in the same positions.


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