No recovery for construction sector in 2010

While the Dutch economy is picking up, the construction sector is still performing badly. With 9 versus more than 4 percent, turnover in the construction sector slumped even more in 2010 than in 2009. The economic crisis spread further last year and after residential and non-residential building companies, civil engineering companies were also struck.

Turnover construction sector

Turnover construction sector

Most dramatic loss of turnover in residential and non-residential building

Turnover generated by residential and non-residential building companies (construction of houses and non-residential units) shrank by 12 percent. Investments dropped dramatically, notably in the first quarter of 2010, when a turnover loss of 21.2 percent was recorded. With a turnover share of 40 percent, residential and non-residential building companies are easily the largest players in the construction sector.

Turnover realised by residential and non-residential building companies has been in decline continually since the first quarter of 2009 and was nearly 20 percent below the level of record year 2008.

Economic crisis also felt in civil engineering

Since the first quarter of last year, the consequences of the economic crisis are also felt in civil engineering. Turnover achieved by civil engineering companies was more than 7 percent down on 2009, despite measures taken by the government to expedite the construction of projected infrastructural projects. In 2009 such measures still had a positive effect on turnover.

Few new orders in construction sector

Prospects for new orders in the construction sector were bleak in 2010. In the first ten months of 2010, the total value of building permits granted for new residential and non-residential units was 20 percent below the level of the same period in 2009. The sale of existing owner-occupied houses also remained at a low ebb. Residential property sales were about the same as in 2009 and more than 30 percent below the level of 2008. The value of new orders received by architectural firms increased by nearly 5 percent in the first three quarter of 2010, but is still nearly 40 percent below the level reached in 2008.
Ron Duijkers