International Property Markets
Last week, statistical agencies of several countries have reported on the state of affairs in the industry. In addition, the media has published data on several large development projects.
Finland has become the most "active" country in this regard. In particular, the statistical office of the country has reported of a spate in construction activity in September: the number of permits issued for construction in the commercial segment has soared by
315%, compared to last September. The total number of approved construction projects has increased by 62%, up to 3.2 thousand.
Also, the data on the cost of construction works in Finland has been published. In October, this indicator did not vary considerably, rising by only 0.1% in monthly terms. In comparison with last October, the decline has worked out 2.5%. A similar trend has been observed a month earlier.
Besides that, the authorities have announced the construction of a large residential and office complex in Helsinki. According to this project, ten 20-40 storey-high buildings are to appear in Finnish capital. The tallest building (150 meters) would become the first Finnish skyscraper.
In other developed countries, such as the United States and Australia, construction activity has been decreasing, and in first case this has happened in defiance of analysts' forecasts. The main cause of this trend in the U.S. was the instability of the market as a whole, which, despite the governmental support, has not yet entered the stage of sustainable recovery. In October, the number of new housing starts in the country has declined by
10.6%, compared to the preceding month.
The Australian Association of Housing Industry has stated that the construction downturn is a systemic occurrence, which is not directly connected with the global economic recession. Australian housing market demonstrates the ability to resist the crisis, but its problems are high tax rates in the segment of new buildings, as well as the influx of immigrants, which causes the housing shortage in the country.
Interestingly, the British economists call developing rather than already developed countries the leaders of the construction industry in the short term. First and foremost, it's China. Nigeria, Vietnam, Turkey and Poland may become its competitors in terms of the growth rate.
Polish analysts agree with their British colleagues. They provide optimistic forecasts about the development of construction industry in Poland, noting, however, that not the construction of buildings would become the driving force behind this development but the realization of infrastructure projects.
Finally, two major projects in Turkey and the Dominican Republic should be mentioned. The first of them - the largest shopping mall in Europe - has been recently opened in Istanbul. The volume of investments in the project has amounted to €750 million. The realization of another project is still only planned, but the declared amount of investment is quite impressive - $5 billion, British companies are going to invest these money in the construction of a resort in the Dominican Republic.
The presence of large-scale construction projects and high rates of construction activity in certain countries allows suggesting that the crisis has not become "global" in the full sense. Some have managed to avoid a recession in the construction domain or quickly recover from it, which is a positive sign for the world economy.
Andrey Velichko www.prian.ru
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