Has COVID-19 affected construction sites in SEE?
The construction industry seems to have been relatively less affected than some other industries (like tourism) as most large projects continue during the lockdown measures across the region. The Eastern European Construction Forecasting Association has published a COVID-19 update on the construction sectors of Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia.
EECFA (Eastern European Construction Forecasting Association) is conducting research on the construction markets of 8 Eastern-European countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.
According to the Association of Construction Entrepreneurs, there are no frozen residential construction sites, but it is hard to imagine that the work is going to continue with the same volumes. Additionally, obtaining construction permits is becoming increasingly difficult despite the effort of municipalities to introduce e-services.
Construction works of the largest infrastructure projects continue at present, but with a slower pace since there are difficulties in deliveries of construction materials. Delays are expected on the Bulgarian part of ‘TurkStream’ due to the obligatory 14-day quarantine for foreign workers who are employed on the site.
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'It is still not clear if there will be a cure for the coronavirus any time soon, but the pandemic itself has become a cure for the Bulgarian real estate market and has made everyone rethink their behaviour:
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We are slowly returning to our normal everyday lives and the Bulgarian property market is experiencing a growing demand and a rising volume of deals after the corona virus lockdown.
Here are the present market trends which mark the start of a new beginning for the property market in Bulgaria:
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The average selling price of residential properties in Bulgaria's capital Sofia increased by 4.0% on an annual comparison basis in the first quarter of 2020, local company Bulgarian Properties said.
The average price of dwellings in Sofia reached 1,120 euro ($1,219) per sq m in the first quarter, the realtor said in a quarterly property market analysis published last week.