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Housing and construction markets

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Forest Products Annual Market Review 2012-2013: 115-122.


The UNECE region's economic recovery has been sluggish; national income in more than half of the region’s countries has yet to return to 2008 levels and unemployment remains high. Numerous risks remain that could endanger even moderate growth in 2014 and beyond as the eurozone crisis appears to be deepening. Further deterioration in the eurozone or an economic downturn in a major country might have significant implications not only for the European Union but also for the global economy. The European housing construction market is still stagnant due to the ongoing sovereign debt crisis, a recession in several countries and the lingering effects of the collapse of the Spanish and Irish housing markets. Growth estimates are negative for new housing and remodelling in 2013 - with improvement in new housing not expected until 2014 at the earliest. Uncertainties about the sovereign debt crisis and a lack of confidence in several European countries, in addition to increasing unemployment, low consumer sentiment, tightened loan requirements and adverse income prospects, have contributed to the unstable performance of the European housing markets. This may hinder a robust housing recovery in Europe. The United States housing market is improving; yet, to place things in perspective, housing starts remain at historically low levels. United States home prices are increasing year on year; the Standard & Poor's 10- and 20-City Composites have increased 10.3% and 10.9%, respectively. North American building material demand and prices have increased substantially from their 2010 levels. Canadian and United States forest-product exports are stable, particularly due to Chinese imports. North American forest-product firms also are benefitting from the improving United States housing market. Canada's economic fundamentals slowed in late 2012 and this trend is expected to continue into 2013. Forecasts suggest modest housing demand, with a resulting decline in housing starts in 2013.


Alderman, Delton. 2013. Housing and construction markets. Forest Products Annual Market Review 2012-2013: 115-122.

Last updated on: June 2, 2017