In Europe, the economic situation improved slightly during the review period. The US economy developed favourably, as expected. Uncertainty in the world economy increased towards the end of the year.
In Finland, economic development continued to be subdued. Export and industrial production have not picked up to a significant degree. The confidence of households and companies is weak. This was seen in, for example, demand for owner-occupied housing and construction investments.
On average, the prices of old apartments in apartment blocks and row houses rose somewhat throughout the country. In the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, prices rose moderately, while in other parts of Finland prices fell.
Demand for rental housing remained high. Business was good for small rental apartments and newly constructed locations, particularly in growth centres. There was still demand for new rental apartments in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.
New construction clearly focused on privately financed rental housing. There were no noticeable changes in the price level of either new construction or renovations. The market situation for the construction of owner-occupied housing enabled better-than-average implementation of negotiated contracts for rental housing development.
The slowness of the zoning process and a lack of suitable plots, particularly in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, made it harder to launch the construction of new rental apartments.