The nationwide number of building permits rose 40% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2007, shows data of Bulgaria's statistical authority released on Tuesday. The construction oversight authorities greenlighted 4,049 new buildings with a total built-up area of 2.6 mln sq m, up from 2,866 buildings with total built-up area of 1.9 mln sq m a year ago.
Residential developers secured the bulk of the building permits, over 50%. Property development is most active in the capital Sofia, the Black Sea coastline and the ski resorts. The biggest number of new building permits - 497, were granted for realty schemes in the coastal Burgas region. Their combined floor area topped 350,000 sq m. Another coastal region, Varna, came in second with 394 new building permits for properties with a total floor area of 295,000 sq m.
Sofia city was third with 263 permits for 190,000 sq m, followed by Blagoevgrad with 164 permits for 290,000 sq m in total. The latest statistical data suggests developers are not concerned about oversupply despite some realtors cautioning that demand is starting to lag. A market overview by real estate portal imoti.net said the holiday home market is stagnating. One of the market treading water in terms of pricing is Bansko. Another snowless winter and the holiday home properties there may have to be priced down.
The building permits for office schemes rose to 104 in Q1 versus 89 a year ago. The planned developments will deliver 83,000 sq m in office space. The biggest number of office building permits were issued in Plovdiv, 23 for 27,000 sq m. The number of building permits for industrial, storage and amusement schemes increased to 1,503 in Q1 versus 1,178 a year earlier. The floor area of the planned developments rose by 40,000 sq m. Once again, the biggest number of permits were granted in Plovdiv - 169 for over 72,000 sq m of industrial and storage properties.