Last year, the Activity Start indicator of EBI Construction Activity Report reached a total of more than €7 billion (HUF 2,500 billion), an increase of almost 18% against 2020 and of more than 6% against 2019.
The report however recognized, that last year's growth was mainly due to the outstanding numbers in Q2 as Q4 brought a particularly low Activity Start. The report analyses the 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 segment as well.
Q4 2021 registered a weaker Activity Start in building construction works, mainly owing to the loss of momentum in non-residential building works. Overall, however, the lower numbers of H2 were offset by the higher values of H1, particularly in Q2. Thus, thanks to a successful first half of the year, building construction works have never started at such a high value as in 2021.
As per the latest report, the value of construction works started last year reached more than €5 billion (HUF 1,800 billion) with the growth over 2020 being close to 30%, and the growth over 2019 being more than 20%.
Multi-unit housing constructions saw an increase in Q3 and Q4 2021. In the full year of 2021, despite a weak Q4, the value of non-residential construction works reached a record; such a high value of construction works has not yet started in the subsector. The Activity Start indicator of the EBI Construction Activity Report amounted to more than €4,1 billion (HUF 1,500 billion) in total, an increase of about 27% over both 2020 and 2019.
In Q4 2021, the biggest building construction projects entering the construction phase comprised Alba Arena sports hall (Székesfehérvár), Chevron Auto automotive metal parts plant (Miskolc), Jedlik Ányos Grammar School (District 21, Budapest), and the Innovative Technical School and Grammar School (Biatorbágy).
Since 2016 civil engineering works had not commenced at such a low value as they did in 2021. They were slightly more than €1,9 billion (HUF 700 billion), meaning a further decline of 5% over the weak year of 2020, and a falloff of more than 18% over 2019.
Road and railway construction works showed a 6% rise compared to 2020 due to the low base, but compared to 2019 the drop was close to 15%. In other than road and railway civil engineering works, the decline was almost 14% in 2021 against 2020, while the value of started construction works fell by 22% against 2019.
Among the biggest civil engineering projects that began in Q4 2021 was the railway section between Szeged-Transfer Station and Röszke, the Halimba-Szőc Solar Park, and the construction of the irrigation plant and irrigation system in Mezőhegyes.
Thanks to the favourable VAT rate, there was an increase in the value of started multi-unit construction works in 2021. A bit more than €0,8 billion (HUF 300 billion) worth of construction works commenced in the segment, an increase of more than 40% over 2020. But the numbers were almost 4% lower than in 2019. Compared to 2018 and 2017, the difference was even more striking: more than 30%. The growth that started in Q3 and Q4 2021 is set to continue in 2022 with developers earlier this year announcing the launch of several major projects, as well as higher building permit numbers last year.
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