In Finland, the outlook for new construction is still weak and building construction is supported by renovation projects, which are less dependent on the economic cycles. The general economic uncertainty and longer sales times of old private houses will slow down housing sales to consumers. Ongoing urbanisation will affect the housing market in many ways, and the focus of demand will be on small apartments in urban growth centres. The few commercial construction projects will also be concentrated in urban growth centres and the Helsinki metropolitan area in particular.
The outlook for infrastructure construction improved slightly after the governmental programme last summer. However, the benefits yielded by these investments will most likely to be realised in full from 2016 onwards. The government committed to promote significant traffic projects, such as the West Metro, City Rail Loop (Pisararata) and the tram in Tampere. The outlook for infrastructure construction will be impaired by weak development in building construction and cuts in road maintenance appropriations in the state budget.
In Norway, Sweden and Denmark, multi-year, state-funded traffic infrastructure development plans are currently underway. These countries are also investing in the renewal of energy production, and large-scale road and rail projects are being planned around urban growth centres over the coming years. In addition, the private sector will most likely continue to invest in infrastructure construction.
In Russia, the outlook continues to be uncertain. The declining oil price and lack of investments slow down the country’s economic growth and impairs the general construction market. The weakening of the rouble increases mortgage interest rates, which may also decrease the demand for comfort-class apartments in the near future. Efforts to develop infrastructure are ongoing, and numerous state- and municipality-funded projects to expand and repair road networks are currently underway across the country. However, the decline in oil price limits state funding, which may have an impact on the volume of infra projects and their prioritisation in the coming years.
In the Baltic countries, the volume of infrastructure construction is estimated to decrease in 2015 but to pick up in 2016. In these countries, several road construction and renovation projects are being planned, many of them with EU funding. The possible launch of the Rail Baltica traffic project would boost the infrastructure construction market situation in all of the Baltic countries.