Construction is usually ignored by media. Exception is current real estate prices and conflicts between developers and apartment owners. We more used to read about GDP fall or growth, population income and spending, amount of investment in certain regions and sectors.
However, construction is indirect, but to some extent, an aggregate indicator of economic activity of population on many levels. Investment in housing is the long-term investment. Construction of non-residential premises is an indicator of entrepreneurial activity rate of population.
Absence of active national securities market, poor legal protection of business, lack of confidence in banking system — all that turned real estate in Ukraine to almost the only liquid asset. The asset many people try to invest money in. On the chart below we see that even in the loss (partial or complete) of these assets in the Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions occupied by Russia, investments in real estate continue.
Housing commissioned in Ukraine in 2002-2015, thousand m² of total area
Note that the y-axis on the smallest number is not zero but 6000. It will help us to see dynamics for 14 years in detail.
Despite even the fact that after 2013 the Crimea and most part of agglomeration of Donetsk and Luhansk regions is not considered, the total number of housing already built in 2015 almost reached indicators before annexation and outbreak of war.
These data may be surprising, but it is another confirmation that the world economic crisis of 2008 hit the country’s economy at least not less than annexation and war that began in 2014. We see slower growth in 2008, then — a sharp drop and two years of uncertain recovery. Only four years later, in 2012, pre-crisis indicators are reached and improved.
Now let’s look in detail on the map that contains all information about property for the previous 14 years on the basis of data published by the State Statistics Committee. The most interesting here is the first figure (number of commissioned housing per thousand of inhabitants of the region).
(You can switch carious indicators in the upper left corner and see the dynamics by pressing the center button below, or manually moving the slider to the desired year. For the convenience, the interactive map can be opened in full size on a separate page. Information on some figures is only for the period 2010-2015.)
We see that most housing was built in Kyiv and the region, as well as in recreational areas — in the Crimea, Odessa region and the Carpathians (Ivano-Frankivsk region, Lviv region, Chernivtsi region). Actually, these regions coincide with the traditional areas of migration within the country.
If you look at the period from 2013 to 2015, you see that Western Ukraine (Khmelnytskyi region inclusive) is quite singled out as the region where most housing is built. In contrast, the other pole of the country — southeast (Luhansk region, Donetsk region and Zaporizhia region) — is completely depressed in this respect, but not for the last two but for all 14 years.
It is clear that by the volume of construction works in monetary terms (excluding the difference in population of different regions), Donetsk region, Kharkiv region and Dnipropetrovsk region are among leaders. Of course, this ‘leadership’ is lost as soon as we translate total indicator into a relative one (‘per thousand of inhabitants’).
As for the cost of construction of non-residential buildings, even in general indicators the most populated areas are not significantly ahead of the rest of the country.
To compare different regions by the number of commissioned housing another indicator is presented below. To reverse the trend, the past 14 years were taken as the average:
Housing commissioned per thousand of inhabitants of the region, м². On average for the period 2002-2015
(Data for Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the Crimea are for 2002-2013. The Crimea, unlike the interactive map above, is shown together with the city of Sevastopol)
The Crimea is counted together with Sevastopol, therefore the Crimea is confidently ahead of other regions. Of course, this is mainly explained by recreational attractiveness of the peninsula, respectively — the housing construction especially for tourists. However, it can’t be called miserable compared to the rest of the country. The map above clearly shows that from 2009 to 2013 more housing per capita was built in Sevastopol than in Kyiv.
The Crimea, Kyiv region (including the city) and Odessa region are the exceptions to the general trend, which looks as follows: the farther to the east, the lower housing is being built. It is important to fix this trend, indeed housing is being built where people have plans for the future, where they are going to stay for living.