Overall construction activity

In 2021, the economic activity in Bulgaria was significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The gross domestic product (GDP) of the country amounted to € 67.871 million, representing a decrease of € 6.541 million compared to 2020. In 2021, the gross value added (GVA) at current prices for the entire economy amounted to € 59.013 million, a decrease of € 5.851 million compared to 2020. For 2021, the relative share of GVA in the construction industry is 3.8% of the GDP, amounting to € 2.599 million, whereas the registered economic decrease is € 15 million on an annual basis.

According to the preliminary data of the National Statistics Institute the construction industry output for 2021 registered a decrease of 30.7% compared to 2020.

Based on the statistical forecast data, the revenues of the construction enterprises for 2021 will register a decline (the actual data will be published on 30 November 2022). The expected share of the residential construction in total operating revenue of the construction industry is 25.2%, of the non-residential construction – 23.7% and of the civil engineering – 51.1% respectively. 

The gross fixed capital in construction assets decreased by € 212 million compared to the previous year.

According to preliminary data, the direct foreign investments in the construction industry for 2021 decreased by € 264.3 million, which represents a significant decline of 118.1% on an annual basis compared to 2020 (the data is a subject to revision).

The employment in the construction industry. The employed in the construction sector represent 5.7% of total employment in the economy and their number has increased by 1.8% compared to 2020. The unemployment in the sector for 2021 is 8.4% of the total unemployment. The increase in unemployment is 1.4% for the whole country and 14.3% for the construction industry compared to 2020.

There are 6 203 (as of March 2022) the construction companies in the Central Professional Register of Builders of the Bulgarian Construction Chamber (BCC), out of which 6 140 are Bulgarian legal entities and 63 foreign companies. 483 companies were deleted from the Register of Builders due to non-compliance with the procedures outlined in Art. 20, paragraph 2 of the Bulgarian Construction Chamber Act. Based on criteria “personnel” 87.13% of the inscribed construction companies are small, 11.78% are medium-sized and 1.09% are large companies.


The building construction, which contributes to 56.2% of the total production in the sector, registered a decrease of 31.7%.

The total number of issued construction permits for 2021 has increased by 19.5% on an annual basis while the total floor area has increased by 27.2%. The number of the residential buildings increased by 20.3%, whereas their total floor area – by 25.1% respectively.

In 2021 compared to 2020, the construction of new residential buildings showed an increase of 23.5%, the number of dwellings therein also grew by 21.3% as well as the total floor area - by 21.4% respectively.

In 2021 compared to 2020, the number of residential buildings brought into use has increased by 16.4%, whereas the number of dwellings therein grew by 16.0% and the total floor area increased by 22.5%. Around 76.9% of these buildings are made of reinforced concrete, which shows a growth of 15.2%. The share of brick buildings is 19.4% which shows a growth of 17.7%. The panel and other types of finalized buildings hold 3.7%.

GDP 2021




Total investment in construction in 2021


Non-residential construction

The construction permits for the administrative/office buildings have increased by 1,1 % and the total floor area increased by 14,5%. The growth for other buildings is 18,8% and the growth in the total floor area is 32,5% compared to 2020.

The new construction administrative/office buildings shows a decline of 21,1%, whereas the decline in the total floor area is 30,7% on an annual basis.

Civil engineering

The growth of civil engineering is slowing down, such as construction output declining by 29.4% compared to 2020 and forming a share of 43.8% of the total construction output. 

In 2021, the announced public procurement notices in the construction sector are 3.567, amounting to € 2.712 million. Compared to 2020, there is a growth of 36.0% in terms of number and a decline of 7.3% in terms of value. The concluded contracts under public procurement notices in the construction industry are 3.929 in 2021, amounting to € 1.817 million, which shows an increase of 14.0% in number and a decrease of 23.7% in value on an annual basis.

Per cent variation of investment in real terms on previous year
investment Mln. € fixed prices
  Sectors 2021a 2018 2019 2020 2021a 2022b
1. Building 3,665 7.6 3.1 -5.3 3.5 N/A 
    1.1. Housebuilding 1,887 -0.8 2.3 2.2 5.3 N/A 
       1.1.1. New 1,655 0.1 3.2 4.9 2.7  N/A 
       1.1.2. Renovation 232 -6.6 -4 -17 28.2  N/A 
    1.2. Non residential (c) 1,778 16.5 3.8 -12 1.7  N/A 
       1.2.1. Private N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A  N/A
       1.2.2. Public N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A  N/A
2. Civil Engineering 3,824 16 3.4 84.4 -33.2  N/A 
(1 + 2) Total Construction 7,489 11.3 3.2 35.4 -19.2  N/A 
a: estimate - b: forecast - c: incl. R&M
Number of building permits in residential construction
  2018 2019 2020 2021a 2022b
single dwelling 5.774 5.980 5.860 7.047 n/a
collective dwelling 35.526 32.783 29.438 39.998 n/a
other types of dwelling 4.954 4.711 4.039 4.781 n/a
Total 10.728 10.691 9.899 11.828 n/a
(Collective dwellings and other types of buildings: in number of flats)