First quarter construction growth slows, up 2 percent on year

Construction in the Ülejõe district of Tartu. Source: Aili Vahtla/ERR

According to information released by Statistics Estonia on Friday, in the first quarter of 2019, the total production of Estonian construction businesses in Estonia and foreign countries increased by 2 percent compared to the first quarter of 2018. Overall construction volumes increased due to work done abroad, as construction volumes on the Estonian market decreased on year.

In the first quarter of 2019, the production value of construction businesses amounted to €581 million, of which the production value of building construction totaled €459 million and the production value of civil engineering €122 million. Compared to the first quarter of 2018, building construction volumes increased by 2 percent and civil engineering volumes 3 percent.

The construction volume of Estonian construction businesses in foreign countries nearly doubled compared to the first quarter of 2018, mainly on account of an increased volume of building construction. This growth was likewise supported by civil engineering. Construction volumes in foreign countries accounted for 9 percent of total construction volumes in the first quarter of 2019, up from 5 percent in the first quarter of last year.

On the domestic construction market, construction volumes decreased by 2 percent. On year, construction volumes decreased in new building construction as well as in repair and reconstruction work. Civil engineering, meanwhile, remained level on year.

According to the Register of Construction Works, a total of 1,770 residential buildings were completed in the first quarter of 2019, 232 more than during the same period last year. The majority of residential buildings to be completed were located in Tallinn, followed by municipalities in the capital city's metropolitan area as well as Tartu County.

In the first quarter of 2019, building permits were granted for the construction of 1,585 residential buildings, 4 percent more than in the first quarter of 2018. The most popular type of building was an apartment building.

A total of 280 non-residential buildings were completed in the first quarter of the year as well, with a total useful floor area of 139,600 square meters, marking a decrease in both metrics on year. These buildings included primarily new agricultural and industrial premises.

Growth slowing down as predicted

According to preliminary data of Statistics Estonia reported by ERR News in February, in 2018, the total production value of Estonian construction businesses both in Estonia and abroad reached €3 billion, which is 18 percent more than in 2017. Taking into account only the Estonian construction market, the volume increased by 21 percent.

SEB warned in November 2018, however, that the Estonian construction market could be expected to slow down significantly in the near future.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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