Ugyan a 3. negyedév Aktivitás-Kezdése egyelőre nem túl fényes az ipari épületek és raktárak szegmensben sem, még mindig itt indul a legtöbb magasépítési munka. A társasházi lakást két nemrég indult nagyprojekt meglökte, de az év eddigi részében még mindig extra alacsony a projektindítás. A mélyépítés Aktivitás-Kezdése továbbra is lényegesen a tavalyi szint alatt van, a 3. negyedévben kezdett kivitelezések közül egyelőre a vizes munkák a legnagyobbak.
A vizualizációt (18 szegmens adataival) havonta frissítjük, és negyedévente az EBI Építésaktivitási Jelentésben is elmondjuk, hogy mit látunk a piacon.
Although the Activity Start of Q3 is not very bright in the industrial buildings and warehouses segment, it is still where most building construction work starts. The multi-unit residential segment has been pushed by two recently launched major projects, but the project launch rate is still extra low so far this year. The Activity Start of civil engineering is still significantly below last year’s level, water-related projects are the largest started ones in Q3.
The visualization (for 18 segments) is updated monthly and the EBI Construction Activity Report, summarizing what’s happening in the market, is published in each quarter.
Press Release on EBI Construction Activity Report Hungary Q2 2023
Q2 brought an improvement over Q1 in the Activity-Start of EBI Construction Activity Report: between April and June construction works started in the value of HUF 754 billion in Hungary, a more than 30% increase over Q1. It was an expansion compared to H2 2022 as well. The rise against the previous quarter was visible even at constant price, although Activity-Start was still behind the quarterly figures of 2021 and H1 2022.
The value of started building constructions keeps registering a drop
In Q2, construction works started in building construction at an even lower value than in Q1, so Activity-Start has been decreasing for the third consecutive quarter. The value of started works was barely more than HUF 400 billion; it fell by 16% in Q2 over Q1. The lag is even bigger compared to the outstanding second quarters of 2021 and 2022. At constant price, the value of building construction works started in one quarter has not been this low since 2015.
The decrease at current price was typical for non-residential constructions. Multi-unit housing recorded a minimal improvement in Activity-Start, although the indicator here stayed very low. In non-residential, the total value of works started was nearly 20% lower in Q2 than in Q1. At constant price, it was in Q3 2016 when Activity-Start was lower than this value.
The biggest projects launched in Q2 this year were the Correctional Facility in Csenger, Inpark metalworking plant in Debrecen, Boysen electric car battery plant in Nyíregyháza, HelloParks Logistics Hall in Páty, the next building of Weerts Logistics Center, and several larger multi-unit residential projects.
EBI Construction Activity Report Hungary analyses the construction industry on a quarterly basis, including the volume of newly started construction works and the value of projects completed in each quarter in aggregate and by segment as well. It is prepared by Buildecon, Eltinga (creation of indicators and development of algorithms for aggregation) and iBuild (project research and project database). EBI Construction Activity Report Q2 2023 has been published and can be purchased at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Civil Engineering Activity-Start sees a considerable expansion
The Q2 2023 Civil Engineering Activity-Start of EBI Construction Activity Report posted a more than 30% growth against the corresponding period a year earlier. And compared to Q3 and Q4 2022, as well as Q1 2023, the increase was exceptional. The last time Activity-Start in the segment was higher than this was in Q1 2022. In April-June 2023, the value was close to HUF 350 billion and the increase was noticeable even at constant price: in comparison with Q1 2023, the value of started construction works nearly quadrupled. But compared to previous years, this Activity-Start at constant price cannot be called an outlier.
In Southeast Europe the forecast is mixed across the board. For this year, EECFA expects expansion in all but one of its five small countries’ construction markets (Romania). For next year, Serbia will also likely join by turning into negative territory, while in 2025 Croatia is forecasted to be the only country to register a drop, albeit a modest one.
In the Eastern European region of EECFA, construction forecast up to 2025 is positive for Türkiye and Ukraine, while in Russia it seems gloomy all the way. In Türkiye, the reconstruction after the February quakes is the key driver, while in Ukraine, a lot will depend on how fast and how soon the reconstruction of the damaged stock can be carried out. EECFA has attempted to make its first forecast for Ukrainian construction since the war began.
Construction up to 2025 in Southeast Europe
In Bulgaria, the new coalition government can mitigate the expected economic slowdown in 2023 by speeding the absorption of EU programs and the implementation of Bulgaria’s Recovery and Resilience Plan. Total construction output is estimated to achieve real growth in 2023. Factors in favor of this forecast are the strong tailwind in residential construction, a slight growth in non-residential and expectation for an improved performance in civil engineering.
Neither inflation nor population decline could stop Croatian construction output’s growth in 2022, and 2023 looks likely to follow suit. Figures for some Buildings sectors, e.g., Retail and wholesale and Residential, contain surprises. Performance of certain Civil engineering sectors was unexpectedly strong due to events that may be one-off or instead portend a trend.
High construction cost is a major factor behind the expected downturn in Romanian construction this year and next, but the market should recover by 2025. EU funding from the 2013-2020 programs has a spending deadline of 31 December 2023, and with the new 2021-2027 programs still in early phases of implementation, a gap is expected in output while the switch takes place. Also, 2024 is a quadruple election year for Romania (local, parliamentary, presidential, European parliament), bringing new challenges for construction as power transition can bring new priorities and strategies.
Serbia is feeling the consequences of the economic slowdown in the European Union, but so far it seems it will avoid recession in the short term. Construction outputs are also showing a mixed picture with building construction suffering contraction in volumes, while civil engineering will likely break new record highs in 2023. And even though there is a lot of uncertainty, the high level of investments is still maintaining positive economic growth and strong employment figures.
The Slovenian construction industry continues to exhibit resilience amidst a thriving economy. While challenges such as inflation and higher interest rates pose hurdles for the residential construction subsector, non-residential and civil engineering are benefiting from increased public investment. By capitalizing on these opportunities, the industry is well-positioned to contribute to the country’s ongoing economic growth and development.
Outlook in the Eastern European construction markets of EECFA
Last year the Russian economy showed relatively high resilience to the negative effects of sanctions. One growth point was construction that showed much better-than-expected dynamics. Russia’s ‘Turn to the East’ notion in the new external political-economic conditions requires intensive construction of infrastructure objects, which fueled growth in construction in 2022. Going forward, the market will likely show decline driven by negative trends in residential and some downturn in civil engineering on the back of a high base in 2022.
After the elections held on 14 and 28 May 2023 in Türkiye, the value of Lira has been falling, creating financing difficulties for contracted construction projects using imported materials. In Q1, the economy accelerated annually owing to strong domestic demand and low interest rates, while construction continued to regain senses. The two earthquakes in February in 11 provinces caused massive human casualties and damages to over 300 000 buildings and infrastructural facilities. As the Government must restore buildings and infrastructure, growth in construction will speed up in the years to come.
If hostilities end in 2023 and Ukraine’s territorial integrity is preserved, post-war reconstruction will cost several hundreds of billions of US dollars according to various recovery plans. About 3 million Ukrainians saw their homes destroyed and about a third of the infrastructure is damaged. The war caused widespread damage to the construction sector and full recovery is only expected after the war ends. Now there is a partial construction of destroyed or damaged residential, non-residential, and critical infrastructure facilities in relatively safe areas with the help of compensation programs at state and local levels and mortgage programs. A key challenge though is the acute shortage of building materials (glass, cement, asbestos, and gypsum, among others). Resumption in construction will improve the country’s post-war economy, provide jobs, increase the production of materials and open new enterprises.
The EECFA 2023 Summer Construction Forecast Reports up to 2025 have been released and can be purchased on eecfa.com where a sample report can also be viewed.
Press Release on EBI Construction Activity Report Hungary Q1 2023
Q1 2023 saw very low Activity-Start in the Hungarian construction industry with only HUF 374 billion worth of construction works started, according to the latest EBI Construction Activity Report. Such a low value of construction start within three months has not been seen since 2016. Compared to the outlier Q1 2022, Activity-Start fell by almost a quarter, but compared to the first three months of 2021, the drop was more than 40%. The value of started works seems particularly modest and the extent of falloff particularly large if we consider that the sector has recently experienced massive price changes. At constant prices, it was only in 2012 when a lower volume of construction works started during three months, and the drop against Q1 2021 already surpasses 60% at constant prices.
EBI Construction Activity Report Hungary analyses the construction industry on a quarterly basis, including the volume of newly started construction works and the value of projects completed in each quarter in aggregate and by segment as well. It is prepared by Buildecon, Eltinga (creation of indicators and development of algorithms for aggregation) and iBuild (project research and project database). EBI Construction Activity Report Q1 2023 has been published and can be purchased at email@example.com.
Decline not sparing building construction work starts
The value of started building construction projects did not reach HUF 300 billion in the first three months of 2023. It has been one of the most modest quarters in recent years and last time Q2, Q3, and Q4 2020 registered construction starts of a similar value. The decrease in Activity-Start against the first quarters of 2021 and 2022 was 42%-48%. At constant prices, the drop is even more visible: such low numbers were last seen in the segment in 2013-2014.
Both residential and non-residential buildings recorded a decline in Activity-Start. In the former, the value of started construction works stayed below HUF 40 billion, while in the latter, Activity-Start was around HUF 260 billion. At constant prices, these numbers represented the 2014-2015 volumes.
Biggest building construction projects launched in Q1 2023 included several logistics centres like Robert Bosch Power Tool logistics centre in Miskolc, BMW logistics centre in Debrecen, Waberers centre in Ecser, or Blister-Labor-Telemedicina centre in Bicske. The construction of several factories and warehouses also started such as Schneider Electric’s Duna Smart Power System smart factory in Dunavecse, Phase 2 of the Mercedes-Benz body part production plant and Phase 2 of its assembly plant in Kecskemét; another phase of Nestlé Purina pet food production plant in Bük or Rheinmetail ammunition factory in Várpalota. Two large hotel construction projects also began: Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge Hotel and Movenpick Palace Hotel Budapest.
Few civil engineering works began
Civil engineering Activity-Start continued to decrease after Q2, Q3 and Q4 2022. The total value of started civil engineering projects did not reach HUF 80 billion (the lowest value since 2016), and at constant prices the volume has never been so low in any quarter since 2012.
In road and railway construction, projects started in the value of only about HUF 20 billion, while non-road and non-railway constructions saw an Activity-Start of about HUF 60 billion, roughly the level of Q3-Q4 2021 and Q1 2022.
In Q1 2023 hardly any civil engineering project was among the largest ones. Major projects included the recultivation of the Oroszlány tailings site, the Budapest Freeport project, and the development of Hungaroring’s utility network.
Northern Great Plain ahead of Budapest
Looking at the last four quarters, the highest value of construction projects started in the Northern Great Plain region with a share of roughly 23%. Budapest saw the second highest value of construction starts, while Pest County came third. With this, around 37% of the national Activity-Start was realized in Central Hungary. About 40% of started construction works belonged to Eastern Hungary, while slightly more than 20% of the Activity-Start was connected to Western Hungary with 5% of Activity-Start in Southern Transdanubia.
Hardly any multi-unit housing project-start
The first three months of this year registered very few multi-unit housing project starts. The last time the value of Activity-Start was lower than the current one was in Q3 2020. Before that only the quarters of 2015 saw a similar amount. The drop is even more significant at constant prices: the Q1 2023 level recalls the 2014 volume. In the last quarter of last year several developers decided to launch a new phase of their projects because of which, despite unfavourable market conditions, Activity-Start increased compared to previous quarters. That is why it was expected that the following three months would not be the time for major construction starts. Yet, the two quarters together reported weak figures.
Press Release on EBI Construction Activity Report Hungary Q4 2022
The latest EBI Construction Activity Report has found that after the weak Q3 2022, Q4 2022 saw a slight nominal expansion in Activity-Start in Hungarian construction. Nonetheless, the value of started construction works was still very low; between October and December 2022 they totalled roughly HUF 650 billion.
This time, though, for better comparability, the analysts of EBI Construction Activity Report also looked at the development of Activity-Start in Q4 2022 at constant prices. This shows that Q4 witnessed a considerably lower construction value, a bit more than Q3 (the negative record in recent years). Yet, whole-year-figures were high thanks to the higher Activity-Start in the first two quarters of 2022 and projects entered construction on more than HUF 3600 billion. Although it was a new record at current prices, it did not approach the highest values of 2017 and 2018 at constant prices and was at the level of 2019 and 2021. Annual change compared to 2021 at current prices was about +21%, while at constant prices it meant a drop of 0.6%.
EBI Construction Activity Report Hungary analyses the construction industry on a quarterly basis, including the volume of newly started construction works and the value of projects completed in each quarter in aggregate and by segment as well. It is prepared by Buildecon, Eltinga (creation of indicators and development of algorithms for aggregation) and iBuild (project research and project database). The EBI Construction Activity Report Q4 2022 can be purchased at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expansion in value of started building construction works
The modest rise in Activity-Start at current prices was mostly coming from the expansion of building construction with the value of started construction works being HUF 500 billion in Q4 2022. Overall, the entire 2022 brought high numbers. Projects worth more than HUF 2000 billion entered implementation – the highest ever registered.
In Q4 the improvement over Q3 was evident in building construction even at constant prices. But the value of started works, except for 2020, was lower than the quarterly values of the past years. At constant prices, the Activity-Start indicator dropped during 2022 (-16.8%) and was roughly at the level of 2019. The better last three months were also typical for multi-unit housing and non-residential buildings, whether we look at current or constant prices.
In 2022, non-residential construction works were launched at a value of more than HUF 1800 billion, the highest amount so far. Thanks to the good first half of the year, even at constant prices, last year was considered a strong year: constant-price Activity Start of EBI Construction Activity Report was the third highest after 2018 and 2021.
Building construction projects launched in Q4 2022 included the CATL battery factory, the BMW plant, and the EcoPro BM electric battery cathode manufacturing plant in Debrecen. Construction also began on the CTP warehouses in Szigetszentmiklós, the University of Veterinary Medicine and the Siemens Energy M2B gas and steam turbine parts manufacturing plant in Budapest, as well as the logistics hall of HelloParks in Fót.
EECFA’s 2022 Winter Construction Forecast Report was released on 5 December. Full reports can be purchased. Discounts and sample reports: email@example.com. EECFA (Eastern European Construction Forecasting Association) conducts research on the construction markets of 8 Eastern-European countries.
Yet another downward revision characterizes the forecast for both regions. Southeast Europe could see shrinkage on the horizon. This, however, comes after a great period of construction in between 2016 and 2021, so the market is foreseen to come down from a peak level. In this respect, the 3% decline until 2024 is no drama, in EECFA’s view. The drama is in East Europe where the peak was reached in 2018 and the market was around 10% below that peak level even before the Ukraine war began. Since then, EECFA has paused issuing forecasts in Ukraine and a status report has been prepared. Without Ukraine, the region is expected to reach its bottom in 2023.
In Southeast Europe, almost all countries have been revised downward. Three out of them, however, could see expansion until 2024. The foreseen contraction in Romania and Serbia pulls down the region to negative. Romania is quite pessimistic; the market could shrink by almost 10% by 2024. Serbia is expected to witness a sizeable drop, too, before growth returns in 2024. As the region saw much construction in 2016-2021, the market will likely decline from the peak, making the 3% drop on the forecast horizon not-so-drastic.
Under the projected economic slowdown, construction will increasingly be affected by the ongoing political instability that is likely to undermine reforms within the Recovery and Resilience Plan, and delay implementation of the EU’s operational programmes.
Тotal construction output is estimated to have grown in 2022.
For 2023-2024 civil engineering is forecasted to increase at a more accelerated pace.
Residential construction output held up in 2022, impervious to war and disease. But it’s likely residential’s rapid growth will over time succumb to rising prices and a falling population.
Rail construction output will rise as more rail projects come online. Some new high-cost road projects may yet be undertaken for political reasons.
Energy prices will fuel building of oil/gas port facilities, pipelines and storage in 2022-2023, construction that the EU’s green-energy push may quench in favor of renewable energy and power grid projects.
The Romanian construction market is set to shrink slightly in 2023 and 2024 as internal and external factors conspire to make building materials more costly.
Inflation-induced lower purchasing power and growing mortgage interest rates are making loans more expensive, and few people can afford to buy a home in cash.
On the one hand, Romania could benefit from the current global instability and attract more foreign investment to grow its economy. On the other, increased energy costs translate to higher operating and construction costs and discourage investment.
The challenging economic situation will undoubtedly have negative effects on construction outputs. But how negative is the question of external factors and the coming events.
The domestic market is strong, with high public and foreign investments, as well as record employment. The highest economic risk comes from inflation and the expected recession in the EU.
The current economic slowdown could deepen the contraction in case of a prolonged crisis.
Slovenia has experienced expansion in construction output on the back of the strong overall economic growth.
However, risks for the future include high inflation, large construction cost increases, and overheating economic growth. And increased interest rates will depress residential output in the future.
Supply chain constraints might jeopardize the completion of large civil engineering projects.
In East Europe, 2022 could be the 4th consecutive year of drop in Türkiye, and no quick recovery is foreseen on the horizon. We have turned somewhat optimistic in Russia, but only from 2024 on. Without Ukraine, the region will likely hit bottom in 2023. The region reached its peak in 2018 and just before the war in Ukraine started, the market was around 10% below this 2018 level. Owing to the war, Uvecon, the Ukrainian member institute of EECFA, has prepared a status report for the second time instead of the forecast report.
Direct and indirect effects of sanctions hammered the construction market that declined faster in 2022 than previously expected.
Forced acceleration of projects in transport and energy, in response to export and import structure changes due to sanctions, will spur growth in civil engineering.
Many targeted programs and national projects will support the construction sector throughout the forecast horizon.
The construction industry has been trying to deal with high inflation that has led to 120% yearly rise in construction cost and 189% increase in housing prices.
There has been some deficit between produced and needed home numbers since 2000, augmented by the influx of refugees from Syria and neighbouring countries (3,920 million registered; unknown unregistered).
The low-cost housing project of the government as of September is expected to stop the current slump in the construction sector.
Prospects for construction depend on the existing situation on the market as a result of the destruction of residential, non-residential and engineering infrastructure, and the end of hostilities with the possible economic recovery.
Total area of damaged or destroyed housing is 74.1 million sqm (7.3% of the total area of Ukraine’s housing stock), a number which, unfortunately, grows every day. Restoring the housing stock will become a key issue for Ukraine after the war ends.
Energy infrastructure remains the top priority for recovery, as nearly 40% of the energy system has been destroyed.
Press Release on EBI Construction Activity Report Hungary Q3 2022
EBI Construction Activity-Start recorded a sharp falloff in Q3 2022. Between July and September, construction projects started at a value of less than HUF 480 billion – the lowest amount since Q3 2020.
The recent years have seen a considerable price rise in the Hungarian construction industry. In order to filter this out, the analysts of EBI Construction Activity Report compared the value of started construction works at constant prices, using Q3 2022 prices. Based on this, at constant prices, an even greater decline is seen in case of started construction works. In Q3 2022 they have registered their lowest value since 2015. At the same time, thanks to the successful first quarter, the drop was not yet visible based on the figures of the first 9 months, which even at constant prices exceeded the same periods of 2020 and 2021.
EBI Construction Activity Report Hungary analyses the construction industry on a quarterly basis, including the volume of newly started construction works and the value of projects completed in each quarter in aggregate and by segment as well. It is prepared by Buildecon, Eltinga (creation of indicators and development of algorithms for aggregation) and iBuild (project research and project database). The EBI Construction Activity Report Q3 2022 has been released and can be purchased at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Value of building construction works down
The decline in Activity-Start witnessed in the construction industry as a whole was observed in building construction, too. The total value of started construction works was around HUF 300 billion, far below the typical first and second quarters. Looking at constant prices, the drop is even more visible. One needs to go back to Q1 2015 to find a lower value than this year’s third quarter. Yet, it is also true in case of buildings that the better first and second quarters pushed up annual figures.
The decrease was also true to residential and non-residential. For the latter, the Activity-Start of EBI Construction Activity Report was around HUF 260 billion, which, at current prices, fell short not only of the figures of the first two quarters, but also of most of the levels of quarters between 2018 and 2021. At constant prices, it was the lowest since Q1 2015.
Building construction projects launched in Q3 2022 included the W-Scope separator film factory in Nyíregyháza, and ParkSide Offices, RTL HQ, Zugló-Városközpont Offices 1 in Budapest. Work also began between July and September on Phase 2 of Campus in Kecskemét, Panattoni Park Budapest City West logistics center in Törökbálint, and the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences in Gödöllő.
Press Release on EBI Construction Activity Report Hungary Q2 2022
Hungary’s high construction Activity Start in Q1 2022 was followed by a slowdown in Q2. The Q2 2022 EBI Construction Activity Report has found that between this April and June construction works started at a value of around HUF 800 billion. Although the value of projects entering construction decreased in Q2, these are not low numbers at all as Activity Start has been the 5th highest (on a quarterly basis) of recent years. It should be added, though, that recently construction costs have dramatically increased, massively pushing up the Activity Start indicator calculated at current prices, while at constant prices the volume would be lower.
EECFA’s 2022 Summer Construction Forecast Report was released on 27 June. Full reports can be purchased. Discounts and sample reports: email@example.com. EECFA (Eastern European Construction Forecasting Association) conducts research on the construction markets of 8 Eastern-European countries.
Our earlier optimism over the Southeast European region of EECFA has gone. The current forecast is foreshadowing almost no growth until 2023 and contraction in 2024. The main reason behind is the worsening climate for construction due to the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In the Eastern European region, we have turned pessimistic. The market of Russia and Turkey together is projected to stay below its 2021 level until 2024. We haven’t been able to provide our standard forecast for Ukraine in this summer round, but a status report has been compiled. We will resume providing forecast as soon as construction-related data collection of Ukrstat returns to normal.
Forecast for Romania, the largest Southeast European construction market, has been revised downward. Instead of expansion, shrinkage is our current scenario. Serbia, which was the fastest growing market in the past 7 years, has an even more pessimistic outlook than in the previous forecast round. In Bulgaria, a whole different trajectory of spending EU funds is the reason behind the revision. We are negative on Russia all the way over the horizon and in Turkey the start of the recovery is expected to be postponed for yet another year.
Bulgaria. Owing to several external and domestic factors, outlook for Bulgaria’s economy to grow faster in 2022 has been reduced. And this year the construction market has entered a period of increasing unpredictability and heterogeneous performance. Residential construction has benefited from favourable financing conditions, and residential property has been used as a hedge against inflation. However, this will not last forever. EECFA is not optimistic in non-residential construction, while civil engineering could expand over the forecast horizon. Total construction output is prognosticated to be in the black with low, but positive growth rates in 2022-2024.
Croatia. The picture for Croatia’s construction sector is mixed, both from sector to sector and within sectors. Sector-to-sector, the output growth rates of Croatian construction sectors are decoupling, as some come close to completing the post-transition catch-up growth phase, while others are not nearly so far along. Within sectors, the strength of crucial output drivers, e.g., tourism season results, construction cost inflation, interest rate evolution, is uncertain and very dependent on events and policymakers’ reactions to them. Overall, the picture looks bright now, especially for residential construction, but the fight against inflation or a serious new COVID-19 outbreak could darken it rapidly and considerably.
Romania. As the short-term effects of the pandemic dissipate, the economy faces new challenges such as inflation and global trade disruptions. GDP is set to grow by 2.9% in 2022, in real terms, down from the previous prediction, but by 2023 (+4.4%) and 2024 (+4.8%) growth could accelerate (source: the National Forecasting Commission). Construction showed signs of recovery, so total construction output is to nominally grow, but slightly decrease in real terms this year. Material and energy prices have battered infrastructure projects hardest as seeking extra financing can be lengthy and difficult. Threats to construction growth in this forecast horizon are evidently increased costs of materials and energy, counter-inflationary policies, and the instability caused by the neighbouring war to regional and global trade networks. Countering these are the positive outlook for wages, employment, investment, and the overall economy. The availability of EU programs for co-financing, including the Recovery and Resilience Facility, could also help certain construction segments.
Serbia. In these challenging times, it will be a real endeavour to keep the pace and level of construction activity, even for a heated and growing Serbian economy. Unfortunately, economic and political developments in Europe are threatening to forcefully subdue the growing cycle in construction and the economy as a whole. So far, the economy is showing a relative resilience and construction activity has only slightly decreased compared to its expected performance in 2022, while permits are still keeping the good tempo. Nevertheless, the risks are still there, and a prolonged instability could produce a much deeper downturn and longer recovery. The strong performance of civil engineering and residential will assist this year’s output levels, but prospects for the rest of this forecast period are still quite conditioned by external factors. The ongoing economic crisis in the EU could easily escalate and produce further adjustments for 2023 and 2024 figures.
Slovenia. Construction output increased fast in 2021 as the pandemic subsided. With rapid economic growth following in 2022, total construction output will likely exceed EUR 4 billion for the first time since 2008. Real growth will be slower, though, as construction cost index has also increased with the fastest pace in a decade, up by more than 10% in 2021 and 2022. Future growth is projected to be slower, especially if interest rates grow faster than expected due to high inflation rates. Still, several large civil engineering as well as residential construction projects are set to continue and prevent construction output from decreasing.
Russia. Last year, the Russian economy showed strong recovery, partly on the back of construction whose growth turned out to be much better than expected (6,8% instead of 3,2% that EECFA had previously forecasted). The reasons behind were the active completion of non-residential projects that had been frozen in 2020, high demand in the housing market that supported construction activity in residential, and considerable state funding for various infrastructure projects that accelerated growth in civil engineering. However, the special military operation in Ukraine that began in February this year has neutralized all positive trends in construction and has led to a sharp worsening in the macroeconomic situation. Unprecedented economic sanctions imposed on Russia will inevitably affect the construction sector whose output is predicted to be negative throughout the forecast horizon: -2,7% in 2022 and from -1% to -1,4% in 2022-2024.
Türkiye. The Turkish economy is facing an unprecedented devaluation in Lira and soaring inflation, hammering wage earners. Manufacturing sectors relying on imported inputs, agriculture, and construction in particular, face difficulties in financing production and selling to customers with lower real incomes. But industrial production and exports are not much hit by the weakened Lira. Since the beginning of 2022, housing shortage, high dwelling prices and rents have been an issue. In the last 21 years fewer homes were built than the need, and the around 3,8 million Syrian refugees and illegal migrants appear to contribute to housing shortage. Due to the roughly 2,8 million dwelling units under construction, housing starts in Q1 2022 may continue to fall by the end of the year. The small decline in housing completion, however, because of declining demand under current macroeconomic conditions, may turn into a positive rate of change under the effects of interest rate subsidies for mortgage loans. Total construction output in Türkiye in 2022 is estimated to contract, so it would be the fourth consecutive year of decline. Mild recovery is expected to begin from next year on.
Ukraine. Since February 2022, Ukraine has been at war with Russia. As of June 2022, the Russians destroyed up to 30% of Ukraine’s infrastructure, damaged 2% of overpasses and more than 23,000 km of roads in Ukraine. About 20% of Ukraine’s territory is being occupied. Russia blocked the seaports through which imported goods were delivered to Ukraine. Building material factories and warehouses mostly remained in the occupied territory and most developers have frozen their projects for an indefinite period. Despite this, some positive signs are beginning to appear in the construction market, mainly in residential where the market is gradually reviving, adapting to the military situation (especially in the relatively safe western region). Little by little, critical infrastructure is being restored (destroyed bridges, roads, electricity and gas supply, communication lines). Under these conditions of major uncertainty, and before the end of the war, predicting future developments in the construction market of Ukraine is impossible. Therefore, Uvecon, EECFA’s Ukrainian member institute in Kiev, prepared a brief Status Report this time instead of the usual Forecast Report.
Source of data: EECFA Construction Forecast Report, 2022 Summer
Press Release on EBI Construction Activity Report Q1 2022
The Hungarian construction industry started off this year with an exceptionally high Activity Start indicator: nearly HUF 1,300 billion worth construction works started in Q1 2022. The Activity Start of EBI Construction Activity Report in the first quarter is a new record (construction works have never started in such a high value in one quarter) and exceeded the level of Q2 2021 (the highest so far) by almost 37%. Yet, this spike is mainly thanks to the launch of two major projects: 1) the Soroksár-Kelebia section of the Budapest-Belgrade railway corridor and 2) the road section between Kecskemét and Szentkirály on M44.
EBI Construction Activity Report Hungary analyses the construction industry on a quarterly basis, including the volume of newly started construction works and the value of projects completed in each quarter in aggregate and by segment as well. It is prepared by Buildecon, Eltinga (creation of indicators and development of algorithms for aggregation) and iBuild (project research and project database). The EBI Construction Activity Report Q1 2022 has been released and can be purchased at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stagnant building construction
The value of started building construction projects was slightly more than HUF 430 billion in the first 3 months of 2022; a good start to the year. The Activity Start of EBI Construction Activity Report was a bit below the value of the same period of the previous year but compared to the last two quarters of 2021, there has been no major change in the Activity Start of building construction. And the first 3 months of 2022 were considerably better than the period between April and December 2020.
Within building construction, the Activity Start of residential construction was modest: the value of started construction works stayed below HUF 90 billion. The Activity Start indicator of non-residential buildings was almost HUF 350 billion in Q1 2022, lower than the very strong first 2 quarters of 2021, but almost the same as the values of Q3 and Q4 2021.
The biggest started building projects in Q1 2022 included Kovács Katalin National Kayak-Canoe Sports Academy in Sukoró, eMAG logistics centre in Dunaharaszti, and ActiCity Event Center in Veszprém. In Budapest, the construction of BEM Center office building and Kimpton Hotel (District 2), as well as Phase 2 of Corvin 7 office building (District 8) entered construction phase.
Big numbers in civil engineering
Construction start on the Budapest-Belgrade railway line between Kelebia and Soroksár, and the section of M44 between Kecskemét and Szentkirály brought an outstanding Activity Start indicator for civil engineering. The total value of launched projects went up to an unprecedented HUF 850 billion between January and March 2022; twice the previous record value of Q1 2018. The Activity Start of civil engineering in the first 3 months of 2022 exceeded the full annual value of both 2020 and 2021.
The total value of road and railway construction works within civil engineering was almost HUF 800 billion thanks to these two large-scale projects. It is indeed the highest value of the last decade. But non-road and non-railway civil engineering projects, similarly to the last two quarters of 2021, started in a low value again.
In addition to these two big-volume projects, key civil engineering projects include the Phase 2 of main road 33 (Debrecen).