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Timber construction companies fear a further decrease

Article by Martina Nöstler (translated by Eva Guzely) | 25.10.2023 - 10:54

In addition to the shortage of skilled workers the industry has been struggling with for a long time, timber construction companies in Austria and Germany see inflation, high energy prices and stricter rules for the granting of loans, which impacts financings, as the biggest challenges. This is said to further reduce the willingness to invest in an economic context which is difficult enough as is it, and there are calls on politics to tackle these issues. This is what emerges from the Holzkurier’s Q3 economic survey among timber construction companies.

58% of the respondents describe their order situation in the past quarter as good, while it was reportedly satisfactory for 32%. Thus, there was hardly any change in assessments compared to the second quarter. The outlook for the fourth quarter, however, is rather pessimistic. 38% of the timber construction companies expect their order situation to deteriorate – compared to 25% in the last quarter. 56% of the respondents do not expect any changes in the order situation in the next three months, while only 6% think that there will be a positive development.

Single and two-family home construction still difficult

73% of those surveyed believe that the order situation in the single and two-family home segment will see a negative development in the next six months. 21% do not expect any changes. Assessments regarding the order situation in the multi-story timber construction segment are slightly more positive, with 10% of the respondents expecting an improvement. Nevertheless, though, 40% think that the order situation will deteriorate in this segment, and 37% of the respondents expect it to remain unchanged. Compared to the economic survey carried out three months ago, expectations have become lower for the remodeling/renovation/addition of stories/addition segment, even though respondents do have high hopes. 26% of the timber construction companies expect that the situation will improve in this segment, compared to 12% who think that it will deteriorate.

Despite all the challenges, 71% of the surveyed companies expect that the share of timber construction in the total construction volume will increase. 24% think that it will stagnate.