Statistics: Construction volumes down 11 percent in Q1 2023

Rebar and a crane at a construction site.
Rebar and a crane at a construction site. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

According to data provided by Statistics Estonia, in the first quarter of 2023, the total production value of Estonian construction enterprises, both in Estonia and abroad, decreased by 11 percent at constant prices compared with the same period a year earlier.

The total production value of construction enterprises in Q1 was €803 million. Building construction accounted for €594 million, while civil engineering amounted to €209 million.

Compared to the first quarter of 2022, the volume of building construction fell by 15 percent on year. The volume of civil engineering works including roads, bridges, port facilities, pipelines, communication and electricity lines and sports fields, remained at the same level.

Merike Sinisaar, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that the construction market is affected by the continuing rise in construction prices as well as rising interest rates and declining consumer confidence. The domestic Estonian construction market was primarily influenced by the decreased volume of building construction. Fewer new buildings were built and there were also fewer building repair and reconstruction works in Q1. Civil engineering volumes were up slightly (1.4 percent) from a year earlier, mainly due to an increase in the amount of repair and reconstruction works.

Construction volume index. Source: Statistics Estonia

The construction volumes of Estonian construction enterprises operating abroad decreased by 13 percent in Q1 when compared with the same quarter from 2022. There were declines in the volumes of both building construction and civil engineering works. Construction works abroad accounted for 6 percent of the total construction volume in the first quarter, which is the same as a year earlier.

According to the Register of Construction Works, 2,225 new dwellings were completed in 2023, which is 78 percent more than the year before. Nearly half of the newly completed dwellings are in Tallinn (49 percent), followed by the rural municipalities in the vicinity of Tallinn (20 percent), and Tartu County (18 percent).

The demand for new dwellings has declined. Building permits were issued for the construction of 1,330 dwellings, a figure which is 29 percent lower than a year earlier. Apartment blocks were the most popular type of new housing, as they were a year before.

Change in construction volume index. Source: Statistics Estonia

The number of newly completed non-residential buildings was 265, with a combined usable floor area of 184,600 m2. New office, industrial, and storage premises accounted for the biggest share of non-residential buildings constructed. When compared with the figures for 2022, there was an increase in both the amount of usable floor area and volume of non-residential buildings completed.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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