New construction and renovation in Tbilisi and Batumi, and construction of the Baku‐Supsa, Baku‐Tbilisi‐Çeyhan, and Shah Deniz pipelines have led to a revival of the construction industry in recent years. Other energy-related construction and rehabilitation projects are under consideration. In addition, necessary upgrades of transportation and tourism infrastructure will continue to create demand for construction services and building materials for the near future.
Numerous hotels have been built or are under construction in Tbilisi and in Batumi and Kobuleti along the Black Sea coast. Commercial banks with new mortgage lending and joint projects with construction companies are playing an important role in the real estate market’s development. Construction standards are undergoing reforms. Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Biltmore, Sheraton, Radisson, Best Western, IBIS, and other brands are operating in Georgia, with most of them adding new hotels in the capital and some also building in new touristic destinations elsewhere in the country.
Significant reforms have been carried out in recent years to simplify the system of issuing permits in the construction sector, and construction businesses are now permitted to use the technical regulations of the OECD and the EU member countries for their construction projects. The government has also eliminated the need for construction licenses and has simplified the process for the issuing of construction permits. The government and municipal authorities further facilitated and liberalized the paperwork to connect newly built construction projects to utility services.
There are a number of reputable construction and development companies in Georgia. A list of companies can be found via the Georgia Business Directory http://www.market.ge/directory/architecture.html#top ).
In architectural design and technical solutions, local companies still generally rely on foreign specialists. It is common practice to solicit the provision of certain services for major construction projects through international tender. The Government of Georgia has initiated several projects for the rehabilitation of the Old City of Tbilisi, with the participation of several banks and developers, to stimulate the construction sector. Georgia depends heavily on importing construction material. Locally available materials include cement, wood, rebar, and concrete. Resources, such as tiling materials and roofing, and exterior‐interior design staff, are primarily imported from Europe and Turkey.
Despite the recent slowdown of previously soaring real estate prices, demand is still growing, especially for commercial development and office space. Competition in residential construction, particularly apartments, is likely to intensify.
The modest growth of the middle class and easier access to credit have increased the demand for quality housing, corporate/business infrastructure, and real estate in general. Prices have increased by 200 percent for residential and 300 percent for commercial real estate since 2003. Demand is still expected to grow in the next few years. Georgia is located in an active seismic zone, so firms with expertise in building to standards that improve resistance to earthquakes are in demand. Tbilisi and other Georgian cities such as Batumi and Kutaisi feature many buildings in the Art Nouveau architectural style in need of significant rehabilitation.