The crisis in the European construction industry is not over. If we can trust the current forecasts of the Euroconstruct Group, overall construction activities in 19 European countries over the entire year 2012 will decrease by around 2 %. Research and consulting institutes from 15 West European and four East European countries assume that the segments of residential housing (-0.5%), non-residential high-rise construction (-2.5%), and civil engineering works (-4%) will experience a downturn.
Yet, not all European countries are identically affected. Investors are presently withdrawing their money from financially shaky countries and are investing it primarily in real estate in Germany, Switzerland, and Norway. But this process is temporary and may possibly obstruct our view of structural deficits. At least in Germany, according to diagnoses by the Euroconstruct Group, conditions of financing are not optimal for all three segments stated above.
It is therefore appropriate that leading associations of the German construction industry take the initiative. Representatives of the campaign “Incentives for Housing Construction” (“Impulse für den Wohnungsbau”) demand, for example, that the government grant tax relief to the rental housing sector.
These efforts are apparently bearing initial fruit. Captions in large letters in daily papers and TV reports in recent weeks show that the message has reached the media and, evidently, the public as well. The pressure on the government is growing.