Construction activity last year was 330 per cent higher compared to 2000, a stark contrast to the rest of Europe where the sector shrank.

A new European Union-wide statistical report has found that Malta experienced the largest rate of growth in construction production activity from 2000 to 2021.

By contrast, the overall EU average in the sector went down by two per cent.

Eurostat figures show that between 2000 and 2021, construction activity in Malta shot up by an astronomical 330 per cent, eclipsing its runner-up, Estonia, which tripled its construction output.

On the other end of the spectrum is Greece, which reduced its construction activity by 85 per cent since 2000.

Other considerable contractions were recorded in Portugal (down 66 per cent), Spain (down 43 per cent) and Ireland (down 42 per cent), the Eurostat report noted.

Construction output (the amount chargeable to customers for building and construction work) in Sweden, Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania and Lithuania more than doubled between 2000 and 2021, while in Estonia it more than tripled and in Malta more than quadrupled.

Eurostat is the official statistics office of the European Union and it periodically issues publicly available statistics on the economy, population, well-being and social life of member states.

The EU survey revealing the extent of Malta's construction mania comes just as the local property market appears to be cooling off, with fewer promise of sale agreements registered in the past months than in previous years.  

Lagging behind on pay, costs

The Eurostat study, which looked at economy and business trends, calculated the overall change in the production construction index, which is a measurement of how the price and value of construction and buildings changes over time.

The report also shows that despite registering the highest growth, Malta is not among the most benevolent payers to its construction workers.

In 2019 in Malta, construction personnel cost less than €20,000 over the entire year, below the EU average of €34,300. By contrast, a construction worker in Denmark earns over €70,000.

Construction personnel are paid the least in Bulgaria – €10,000 on average.

Furthermore, the increase in the cost of constructing new buildings was also on the lower end of the list in Malta.

In two decades it went up just over 50 per cent, below the European Union average of 63 per cent.

The report found that in 2019, “over half of construction value added in Cyprus, Romania and Malta resulted from the construction of buildings, approximately double the average for the EU (26.8 per cent).”

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