Hungarian construction industry couldn’t pull itself together in Q3

In previous quarters the analysts of EBI Construction Activity Report broadly discussed the negative effects of the pandemic on the domestic construction industry. The latest figures also suggest that there is still no improvement in the sector after a weak first half of the year.

EBI Construction Activity Report Q3 2020

In the first three quarters of 2020, construction works started at a 20% lower value than in the same period of 2019, even though the beginning of the year got off to a good start in construction. The value of Activity Start indicator stood only at HUF 1,484 billion, the lowest amount in the last 4 years. Between July and September, less than HUF 390 billion worth of construction projects started, which is also a negative record because since Q4 2016 we haven’t seen such a low Activity Start in Hungary. Compared to Q2, there was an 18% slump between July and September, according to EBI Construction Activity Report.

EBI Construction Activity Report examines the situation of domestic construction industry on a quarterly basis, including the volume of newly started construction works, and the value of projects completed in each quarter in aggregate and by sector as well. It is prepared by Buildecon, Eltinga (creation of indicators and development of algorithms for aggregation) and iBuild (project research and project database). Full publications can be purchased at ebi@ibuild.info.

In the first 9 months of 2020, 42% of construction works started in Central Hungary and 30% in Western Hungary, so works started in both areas at a higher rate than the average of previous years. Looking at Q3 alone, Western Hungary’s share is outstanding (45%) due to the launch of several major projects such as the one for Main Road 83 (Győr-Pápa).

Although Q2 saw higher numbers in civil engineering than Q1, Q3 registered another drop in Activity Start. Thus, overall, construction projects in the subsector started in a significantly smaller value in the first 9 months of 2020 than in the same period of 2019. Against the first three quarters of 2019, the value of started construction works was 36% lower. The Activity Start indicator accounted for HUF 470 billion (out of which only HUF 145 billion between July and September). Considering the past 3 to 4 years, figures for the first three quarters are rather weak. It was only in 2015-2016 when the value of projects entering construction phase was lower. In the first 9 months, road and railway as well as non-road and non-railway civil engineering segments were characterized by the same drop as in the previous year. Among civil engineering works, for example, construction phases 1 and 2 of Main Road 83 started in Q3.

Building construction did not improve in Q3 either. Between July and August projects started at a lower value than in Q2, totalling HUF 244 billion – the lowest level since Q4 2016. According to EBI Construction Activity Report, the value of Activity Start indicator amounted to HUF 1 billion for the first 9 months of the year (a 10% shrinkage like-for-like).

The rate of decline was bigger in case of multi-unit housing construction: January and September 2020 saw a 35% lower value of started such projects like-for-like. In case of non-residential buildings, the difference was only 3%, which was mainly due to the high numbers in Q1. The Activity Start indicator in Q2 (which was low compared to the last three years) was followed by an even weaker Q3. Yet, larger projects did start in this period. For instance, among non-residential projects Q3 2020 saw the start of Phase II of the University of Physical Education in Budapest (sports hall and underground garage: Csörsz block), renovation works of Csokonai National Theatre and Latinovits Theatre (Debrecen), Phase III of BalaLand FamilyPark (Szántód) and the revamp of Allee shopping centre (Budapest).

Even compared to the previous weak quarters, Q3 2020 brought a deteriorating Activity Start for multi-unit housing construction. Projects entered construction on a value of only HUF 21 billion, a level not seen since 2014, and the low number of projects already evoked the low levels of 2013 during the crisis. No wonder that figures for the first 9 months have been a multi-year negative record since 2015, with Activity Start amounting to only HUF 154 billion.

Q3 2020 also saw a record broken for completions of multi-unit housing projects, with homes never being completed in such a high value as in July-September. The value of Activity Completion indicator was HUF 122 billion. This peak is estimated to be broken in Q4 with the value of Activity Completion being HUF 193 billion, according to EBI Construction Activity Report.

But the announcements in recent weeks that affect the housing market may bring major changes in the segment. Although resetting the VAT rate on new homes from 5% to 27% this January largely contributed to this year’s dramatic drop in Activity Start, the VAT rate is set to fall back to 5% from next January in case of constructions that start until the end of 2022. Moreover, families can even be exempted from paying the 5% VAT. The new regulations are set to kick-start projects again, so the analysts of EBI Construction Activity Report expect a considerable improvement in the Activity Start indicator.

A visual summary to Euroconstruct Special Update August 2020

by János Gáspár – Buildecon, Hungarian member to Euroconstruct

In most countries the stories after the August revision remained pretty similar to those Euroconstruct forecast in June. Charts below are organized by region, the dotted black line represents the 2019 level. At Europe’ heartland and in the Nordic countries (in the top row) there are very stable markets. Except for Finland and Sweden, each of them foresees the total market in 2021 to be around the level of 2019. Out of the largest countries, the most sluggish recovery could be in the Netherlands, in the UK and in Spain. Poland seems to be crisis-resistant.

>> CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL VISUAL SUMMARY

Lowest figures in started construction projects in Hungary in the past 3 years

The last quarter of 2019 saw another significant decline in launched construction projects in Hungary, amounting to only HUF 424bln worth started total construction works – as per the latest edition of EBI Construction Activity Report. Works started in the sector in a much lower value for the 2019 year as a whole as well. The drop in 2019 was 21% over 2018; and even compared to 2017, the difference was -11%. In 2019 the Activity Start Indicator of the Report totalled less than HUF 2200bln, compared to the almost HUF 2790bln a year earlier.

Building construction activity fell in Q4 2019

The Report has also found that in Q4 2019 building construction registered a lower value of started works than in the previous quarter, amounting to HUF 311bln. Overall, in 2019, Activity Start for building construction accounted for HUF 1364bln – significantly less than in 2018 and marking a decrease of 15%. However, calculated based on the ibuild.info project database, even the value in 2017 surpassed the 2019 one.

Weakening non-residential and multi-unit housing construction figures both were to blame for the slump in building construction. Multi-unit housing projects had also been seeing a decline in the value of Activity Start indicator over the past quarters, and the trend continued in Q4 2019 as well. Non-residential construction projects posted a much more modest drop.

Launched building construction projects in Q4 2019 comprise several hotels and office buildings, the construction of the Szeged Handball Arena, Phase I of Nagykanizsa multifunctional sports and event hall, upgrades of M3 Business Center buildings A and B, and renovation works of Hungexpo.

Published quarterly, the EBI Construction Activity Report creates aggregates from project data for 18 segments by object type (multi-unit residential, 9 non-residential segments and 8 civil engineering segments). It is prepared by Buildecon, Eltinga (creation of indicators and development of algorithms for aggregation) and ibuild.info (project research and project database). Full publications can be purchased at ebi@ibuild.info.

The fourth quarter of 2019 was very poor in civil engineering

Even though the period between April and September 2019 saw the start of civil engineering works in a massive value, Q4 2019 recorded a huge drop in numbers. Activity Start amounted to only HUF 113bln, the lowest value since Q4 2016 and only one-third of the value in Q3 2019. As a result, civil engineering closed the year with a massive decline, posting 30% fewer started construction projects in 2019 than in 2018 (a 22% drop against 2017). However, the 2019 Activity Start (HUF 835bln) is not considered to be extremely low in the segment. Rather, the years of 2017 and 2018 are considered to be extremely high.

In 2019, within civil engineering, mainly road and railway construction projects started in a much lower number than in 2017 and 2018, accounting for HUF 432bln. This was mainly due to the major decline in the Activity Start of railway construction projects, with only HUF 48bln of projects entering construction phase. The HUF 384bln worth Activity Start in road construction showed a much smaller difference compared to 2017-2018, and it surpassed the values in preceding years.

Started civil engineering projects in Q4 2019 are scarce, but include the construction start of the South Railway Bridge on the Danube in November 2019, for example.

Central Hungary was in the lead again in Q4 2019

Like Q3 2019, Q4 2019 also saw the start of fewer projects than in previous years in Eastern Hungary, offsetting the region’s high share in H1 2019. Thus, in 2019, 36% of the value of started construction works concentrated in Eastern Hungary.

Central Hungary was the other way around: while in H1 2019 its relative share in Activity Start was lower than in previous years, in H2 2019 it significantly exceeded it. The Report has found that between October and December 2019 more than half of the value of new construction works concentrated in Central Hungary.

There is a clear downturn in multi-unit housing construction

From January 1 this year, resetting the VAT rate from the previous 5% back to 27% brought a major change in the Hungarian multi-unit housing market. As of this year, units in projects having obtained a building permit after November 1, 2018 can only be sold at the higher VAT (above net prices). Last year, the approaching end-of-December deadline increasingly had a knock-on effect on the value of started construction works. The value of the EBI Activity Start Indicator for multi-unit housing construction amounted to only HUF 49bln in Q4 2019. For comparison, in all quarters of 2018 the value of projects started for three months exceeded HUF 100bln. In 2019, as a result of the downturn, construction works started in a total of HUF 263bln against the more than HUF 400bln in the previous two years. Last year, the EBI Activity Start Indicator for multi-unit housing construction fell 39% nationwide.

Despite the rosy figures of Q3 2019, only 44% of the investment value was concentrated in Budapest, so the capital city’s share in multi-unit housing construction dipped compared to previous years. It is not surprising, though, as in 2019 the shrinkage in construction starts was 51% y-o-y, according to the EBI Construction Activity Report. Central Hungary had a share of 52% of the total value of newly built multi-unit buildings, indicating a huge drop against previous years.

In 2019, the EBI Activity Completion Indicator Continue reading Lowest figures in started construction projects in Hungary in the past 3 years

EBI Építésaktivitási Jelentés

  • Hány darab irodaprojekt építése kezdődött meg 2016 1. félévben az országban?
  • 114 darab
  • De ebből mennyi az új építés, és mekkora a volumene?
  • 33 darab és az összes becsült építési érték 66 milliárd forint.
  • És mennyi felújítási projekt indult el oktatási épületeken?
  • 80
  • Milyen értékben?
  • 14.9 milliárd forintnyi, ami 20%-kal kevesebb, mint 2015 1.  félévében.

Az összes magas és mélyépítési szegmensre ilyen és ehhez hasonló adatokat állítunk elő egy kutatás keretében, melynek első kézzel fogható összegzése szeptemberben készült el. Az összes az jelenti, hogy a lakásépítést külön, a nem-lakáscélú magasépítést 9, a mélyépítést 8 szegmensbe kategorizálva aggregáljuk az egyedi építési projektadatokat.

Ezt a posztot egyfajta kézikönyvnek szánjuk, hogy bemutassuk milyen adatok kerültek az EBI Építésaktivitási jelentésbe.

A sajtóanyag itt elérhető: .zip (egy pdf és néhány kép)

A teljes anyag az ibuild.info oldalán olvasható (regisztáció után)

1. A fenti példát folytatva, azon kívül, hogy 114 irodaprojekt kivitelezési munkái indultak el az országban 2016 1. félévében, azt mutajuk még be, hogy ezek várt építési értéke 88 milliárd forint, és hogy ez háromszor annyi mint az előző év hasonló időszakában elindult irodaprojektek építési értéke.

aktivitas_1

Continue reading EBI Építésaktivitási Jelentés

New manufacturing is coming: Europe or China will be the new China?

JAPAN-SCIENCE-TECHNOLOGY-ROBOT ELDERLY

Robear is helping to revolutionize the manufacturing industry: do robears prefer China or Europe? (source: HuffingtonPost)

Adidas has announced that it will open its first all-robot factory in Germany, and many will follow in rich countries. Foxconn, the manufacturer of Apple products fired 60,000 employees and employed robots instead of them. It seems this is the beginning of the end.

The way we manufacture products is about to change dramatically in the next decade. There are two intertwined trends that have already started to revolutionize the industry: the digitisation of industry (or the “takeover of robots”) and that global economic growth is less and less energy and machinery-intensive (more and more value added comes from services). None of these are new; however, both of these trends are in front of a new era of growth. Developments in big data and machine learning are increasing the capabilities of robots and global value chains are becoming seamless. Economic growth is coming increasingly from services, as opposed to manufacturing. Moreover, growing concerns about climate change and the ongoing shift away from heavy machinery in state-of-the-art manufacturing are leading to the growing use of lighter materials instead of metals. Continue reading New manufacturing is coming: Europe or China will be the new China?

The Do-It-Yourself guide to success in Central Eastern Europe

Are you a motivated social engineer in CEE? Do you want to change the country you live in? Or you are just interested, what could be the most successful strategy on the periphery of Europe? You are at the right place. Please, welcome the D-I-Y Guide to CEE!

In this post, we first define success in CEE. Second, using the Global Competitiveness Report, we analyze what aspects could help a country achieving that success. And third, we present you the ultimate D-I-Y Success Guide to CEE. Continue reading The Do-It-Yourself guide to success in Central Eastern Europe

The coming wave of energy efficiency investments

The most energy efficient animal and the wave. Source: FatCatArt

This week’s post is concerned with energy efficiency investments in housing. We wanted to point out the importance of three factors: stable economic growth, further decrease of costs in renewables, and sufficient amount of fundings from the EU. All three factors seem to be fulfilled for the next couple of years, and we think a new wave of energy efficiency investments is likely in the future. Continue reading The coming wave of energy efficiency investments

The oil price decline and the construction market: riding the Saudi bull

the bull After assessing the impact of immigration on the European Union, this week’s post concentrates on another current issue: the oil price decline and its consequences on the construction sector.

This global income redistribution from oil exporters to importers is an opportunity for the construction market: they can ride the falling Saudi bull as cheaper fuel prices, lower costs and stimulated EU economies may generate more demand.

The International Energy Agency is forecasting a lasting low price environment; therefore both short and medium term effects are worth studying. The direct effect of lower fuel prices is a boost both for companies in the construction sector and for most European economies. However, missing petrodollars in the world economy and Russia’s dependence on oil revenues hold an important risk for the future.

Such issues will be discussed at the 80th EUROCONSTRUCT Conference. Continue reading The oil price decline and the construction market: riding the Saudi bull

The housing market’s James Bond: increasing immigration

Our current post is the next in line dealing with migration that has an impact on construction. Such issues will be discussed at the 80th EUROCONSTRUCT Conference.

In our previous post we concluded that lower potential economic growth and an increasing immigration are likely in Europe in the long run. An overall lower economic growth puts pressure on the construction industry as well, however, increasing immigration provides new opportunities for growth. In this post we will first elaborate on possible short-term effects and then we will present our expectation for the long-term. Continue reading The housing market’s James Bond: increasing immigration

Europe at crossroads: Economic decline and the possibilities of increased immigration

There is a series of current issues having an impact on construction that will be discussed at the 80th EUROCONSTRUCT Conference and first, we would like to address a very current issue in Europe: migration. There are many aspects of this phenomenon and it would be hard to present them all. Instead, we will address only one: how immigration can help slowing the ageing of the European Union’s population and thus increase growth prospects. Continue reading Europe at crossroads: Economic decline and the possibilities of increased immigration