LAST year Slovakia experienced a boom in housing construction with 28,321 housing units started. This is the highest figure for the last 18 years, the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development wrote on its website in early May.
Compared with 2007, the figure represents an increase of 10,205 units, or 56.3 percent.
Similarly, the number of housing units completed in 2008, 17,184, was the highest since 1991. From this point of view, housing construction in 2008 was the most vibrant in Slovakia’s recent history as an independent country.
Apart from completed and started housing units, 66,122 housing units were under construction last year.
Out of the total number of completed housing units, 8,502 - or 49.5 percent - were family houses.
During 2008, a total of 2,745 housing units were deleted from Slovakia’s registry of housing units. Of these, 43.8 percent, or 1,202 units, were pulled down.
The housing construction intensity index, expressing the number of completed housing units per 1,000 citizens also reached new levels last year, the ministry wrote. In 2008 the index rose to 3.18, the highest level since 1993. The index was at its lowest in 1995, when it stood at only 1.15.
In countries which underwent a similar transformation process as Slovakia, Poland reported a housing construction intensity index of 2.8 in 2004, the Czech Republic reported a figure of 3.2 and Hungary’s stood at 4.3.
In 2008, Bratislava Region dominated the figures for completed housing units (5,563 units, or almost one third), while Banská Bystrica Region reported the lowest number of completed housing units, with only 1,002.
The ministry estimated that the number of permanently occupied housing units in Slovakia was 1,753,199 as of the end of 2007. Since the last census of Slovakia’s population in 2001, the number of permanently occupied housing units increased by 87,663 or 5.3 percent, reported the SITA newswire, citing ministry data.