At their 80th conference in Budapest in December, the independent research organisation Euroconstruct projected that total construction output in Europe increased 1.6% during 2015. This compares to their more optimistic forecast of 1.9% growth made at the previous Euroconstruct Conference in June 2015.
However Euroconstruct is now more optimistic about prospects for 2016, forecasting 3% growth during the year (compared to their June forecast of only 2.4% growth).
Euroconstruct also forecast growth of 2.7% in 2017 and 2% in 2018.
Euroconstruct estimate European construction output will have a value of €1412 billion in 2016, €1450 billion in 2017 and €1478 billion in 2018. This compares to a peak of €1532 billion just before the financial crises.
Euroconstruct forecast that the construction sectors of all 19 countries represented by the organisation will grow between 2016 and 2018. They note that during 2015, growth was particularly rapid in Ireland (+10.6%), Slovakia (+10.3%), Czech Republic (+7.4%), and the Netherlands (+6%).
In 2016-2018, annual construction growth is expected to exceed 7% in Poland and Ireland. However, the five largest construction markets in Europe – Germany, UK, France, Italy, and Spain - are also expected to grow more strongly and together will contribute more than two thirds of the forecast market expansion in 2016.
In recent years, much of the growth in European construction activity has been in repair, renovation and maintenance. These activities were responsible for 60% of the total residential market in 2015.
However, Euroconstruct suggest that much increased growth in construction activity in 2016-2018 will be in the residential new build sector. This will be driven by the massive influx of migrants arriving in Western European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, and to Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
Using conservative assumptions, it has been calculated that in the next three years, excess demand for social housing will be at least 900,000 people, for whom the current social housing capacity is insufficient. Euroconstruct suggest that the non-residential market will also grow in all 19 Euroconstruct countries during 2016 and that this growth will stall iin only two countries – Finland and Sweden - in 2017.