In western Georgia, a typical older home is wooden, raised off the ground slightly in areas where flooding or very damp ground is problematic. In the drier climate of eastern Georgia, stone (later brick) houses with flat roofs were constructed along roads. In urban regions, two-story brick or cement block homes are not uncommon.
Before independence, most urban housing was regulated by the government while most rural housing was privately owned. Beginning in the mid 1990s, legislation towards privatization led to the legalization of an open real estate market. Unfortunately, the need for adequate housing is far greater than current supplies. In 1989, there were 152,033 people registered and wating for adequate housing. Overcrowding became a problem as extended familes stayed together in one household simply because of the lack of alternative housing. Natural disasters have caused trouble for an already problematice housing situation. Mudslides are common in some areas. In 1987, a mudslide destroyed 210 homes and seriously damaged 850 more. In 1991, an earthquake destroyed 46,000 homes. Civil unrest has caused a great deal of homelessness as well. As of 2001, there were about 300,000 displaced persons throughout the country.
During 1995 a total of 55 423 sq. m. of dwelling was built in the republic, but this represented only a 4.4% increase in new dwelling are since 1987. Building costs are high, with the price of one square meter often between US $500 and US $1 000.