European wooden house sector is heading for growth
15. October

The European wooden house industry has been stable for several years without showing any trends of significant growth or contraction. The change towards the increase of volumes arrived last year.

According to Eurostat, the years-long stagnation of wooden house sector has started to grow again by reaching the return on sales volume of 7.1 billion euros by 2014 with regard to 28 member states of the EU.

“When in 2007 the total sales volume of the European wooden houses was 7.4 billion euros, then in 2008–2009 the market volumes dropped about 30% or to 5.4 billion euros," says Elari Kivisoo, the Chief Executive of AS Ritsu, Member of the Board of the Estonian Woodhouse Association. “Even though the market moderately recovered in 2010 by reaching the level of 6.2 billion euros per year, the subsequent period from 2011–2013 can be called a real stagnation,” adds Kivisoo by characterising the return on sales volumes staying at 6.6 billion euros.

The significant rise of 7.8 % of return on sales took place in 2014 as the result of which the sales revenue of the whole European wooden house sector has risen to 7.1 billion euros per year which still, however, does not exceed the volume of sales revenue of 7.4 billion
euros in 2007. In 2014, Germany, England, Sweden, Italy, the Netherlands and the Denmark have increased the return on sales most. As to the sales revenues, the
volumes have decreased in Austria, Finland and France.

“When analysing the sales revenue changes, it is clear that the increase in volumes of the biggest manufacturers like Germany, England, Sweden and Denmark has occurred first of all on account of the domestic market since none of them has increased the percentage of
export," says Lauri Kivil, the Manager of Estonian Wooden Houses Cluster. Estonia, Lithuania, The Czech Republic, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands and Spain have grown as exporters. Kivil brings out that against the background of general stagnation, the production and export volumes of the Estonian wooden house sector have grown moderately and as the result of this, Estonia with its export volume of 238 million euros maintains its position as the most of wooden houses exporting country in Europe. The next biggest exporters are Germany with 134, Sweden with 94 and Finland with 89 million euros of export revenue.

The majority of Estonian wooden houses still go to the Kingdom of Norway, which forms 41.5% of the total export and 20.4% of production are put on the market in Germany. England with 7.5%, Sweden with 6.8% and France with 6.4% of the total wooden house export keep continually coming to the fore as significant target markets.

Schoolhouse in England, machined log
building

Manufacturer: Aru Grupp AS
Photo: Maris Tomba/Eesti Puitmajaliit