Operating environment in 2013

In Finland, the general market situation in construction remained weak. Construction costs increased moderately, and the availability of subcontractor services increased, particularly in building construction in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Housing sales to investors and housing funds increased. Commercial construction remained at a low level and was concentrated in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Infrastructure construction activity was brisk during the second half of the year, as the long winter delayed the start of the season. Demand for specialised contracting in infrastructure construction was good, while the declining market in the paving business intensified competition.

In the Scandinavian countries, the market situation for infrastructure construction remained good. In Sweden and Norway, road traffic projects and the public sector´s investments in road maintenance increased demand for paving. Increasing investments in the energy supply sector also boosted the demand for specialised contracting in infrastructure construction.

In Russia, changes in the country’s economic growth forecasts did not affect housing sales. In St Petersburg, price development of apartments was moderate and interest rates for loans remained stable. More mortgages were drawn compared to the previous year. The construction and repair of major inter-city highways boosted the demand for infrastructure construction in Russia.

In the Baltic countries, the demand for infrastructure construction remained good in Latvia and Lithuania, while in Estonia the market situation slightly weakened.