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IC News - Don't miss any Industry Trends

Completion of construction projects drops by 17.4% in 2023 – Strong regional variations

Despite sustained growth in residential construction completions over the past two years, Austria is experiencing an alarming decline in housing construction. This trend starkly contrasts with the positive developments in previous years, during which the number of construction completions increased by 3.6%, even as building permits declined by 22%. An analysis by Interconnection Consulting for the period 2018-2021 reveals that 13% of construction projects in the residential sector were left unfinished. The slight increase in construction numbers in 2022 is mainly attributed to postponed projects from the previous year. However, Interconnection Consulting predicts a crash in construction completions of 17.4% in 2023 due to a drastic decrease in building permits by 27.3%, rising interest rates, high inflation, and declining real wages.

2023: Less than 50,000 completed dwellings

The total number of completed dwellings in 2022 was 60,377, as indicated by Interconnection’s regional study analyzing housing construction at the district level. For 2023, it is anticipated that this number will decrease to 49,873. None of the federal states are exempt from this decline, with Burgenland (-27.7%) and Vorarlberg (-26.7%) particularly affected by a significant drop. The decline in Burgenland is concerning: population outflow leads to an oversupply of housing and, consequently, a decrease in construction activity. From 2018-2022, Vorarlberg had the highest completion rate. However, in 2023, this region will not have as many outstanding building permits as in other federal states.

Boom District and Flop District: Eisenstadt surprises, Zwettl disappoints

Eisenstadt, with the highest growth in housing construction at 50.6%, surprises as a boom district, despite no construction boom elsewhere in Burgenland. The proximity to Vienna plays a crucial role, making Eisenstadt now attractive to commuters. In contrast, a decline of over 59% in housing completions is expected in Zwettl, following strong growth in 2022.

Multistory residential construction on the rise

In a heavily urbanized country like Austria, there is a clear trend towards multistory construction. In 2023, 72% of all completions will be in multistory residential construction. Graz and the Vienna districts of Donaustadt, Floridsdorf, Favoriten, and Liesing are the districts with the highest construction activity in housing, contributing to nearly 26% of Austria’s total residential construction activity.

Prefabricated houses in Lower Austria continue to trend

The sector of single-family homes represents more than a third of all completed housing units in Austria. Lower Austria dominates with over 1.600 units ahead of Upper Austria. The market share of prefabricated houses is higher in the east (over 40%) than in the western federal states, supported by lower land prices and the strong presence of leading manufacturers such as Wolf, Genböck, Haas, Hartl, and Elk.

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"Despite Construction Crisis, VRF Market Sees Increase in Value Across Europe in 2023"

The market for Ventilated Rainscreen Facades (VRF) and their substructures (VRF Profiles) in the Top 8 European countries demonstrates remarkable stability in 2023, with only a slight 2.0% decline in quantity. In absolute terms, the market decreased from 46.8 million square meters to 45.8 million square meters. Higher average prices contribute to a significant revenue growth of 4.8% in 2023 for both sectors, as indicated by two recent studies (VRF and VRF Profiles) conducted by Interconnection Consulting.

In 2023, the VRF market records a 4.8% increase in value, reaching 2.4 billion euros in the examined countries. VRF Profiles achieve a revenue growth of 3.6%, resulting in a market volume of 2.0 billion euros. Notably, the crucial new construction sector, particularly in non-residential buildings, experienced significant declines in some European markets, such as Germany. This decline can be attributed to substantially higher construction and financing costs, along with the current economic recession. A stagnation is expected for the VRF market in 2024. Significant growth is anticipated only from 2025 onwards.

United Kingdom Takes the Lead

A closer look reveals diverse market dynamics in the surveyed countries. While Germany and Austria report significant market declines of -19.3% and -16.0%, respectively, the United Kingdom and Spain exhibit noteworthy quantity growth, with increases of +14.5% and +9.0%. “One reason for the growing demand in the United Kingdom, especially in new construction, is that the facades from manufacturers now better meet fire protection requirements,” explains Julia Hrebenkova, the study’s author. The quality of facades has improved, and consumer preferences for VRF have risen. Spain experienced growth in all segments except commercial buildings and single-family houses. Significant investments were made, especially in Madrid and Valencia. Among the Top 8 European countries, the United Kingdom assumed the lead as the largest market in 2023, with a share of 23.1% (Top 8 countries), surpassing Germany. Comparing Switzerland and Austria, it is evident that, with a similar population size, the Swiss VRF market is 50% larger. This is due to significantly higher construction volumes in Switzerland in core segments like office buildings, commercial buildings, and industry.

Aluminum Dominates the Market

In the VRF market, aluminum is the most favored material, with a market share of 25%, owing to its low maintenance and fire-resistant properties. In Germany, the aluminum share is highest at 36.5%, while in France, it is the lowest at 10.5%. The second-largest group is fiber cement cladding, with a share of 17.2%. Particularly in Switzerland and Poland, the shares in this product group are very high at 30.2% and 22.5%, respectively, posing significant competition to aluminum. Aluminum dominates the market for VRF Profiles with a share of 69%. This preference is due to cost efficiency, flexibility, and malleability. However, the material has limitations, such as limited load-bearing capacity and high thermal conductivity, posing a risk in case of a fire, explained Julia Hrebenkova, the study’s author. Stainless steel profiles provide an alternative; although heavier, they offer exceptional strength and a long lifespan. The share of steel profiles is 27.7%.

Market of Global Players

The top 10 manufacturers in the VRF market in the surveyed countries have a market share of 38.4% in quantity. The low share of top players is attributed to the local structure of the market. Proximity to architects and planners contributes to the success and dominance of local players. The key players in alphabetical order are Alucobond, Cembrit, Eternit, FunderMax, Hardie Cladding, Kronospan, Rheinzink. In the VRF Profiles segment, the share of the top 10 manufacturers is slightly higher at 59% in quantity, with the presence of local manufacturers. The key players in alphabetical order are EJOT, ETANCO, Fischer Group, HILTI, SFS, Slavonia.

The two studies for VRF and VRF Profiles examined the markets in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Poland.

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Leading Companies trust in Interconnection Consulting


At the IC Impulsworkhop "Sales Optimization" we appreciate not only the practical relevance, but also the eloquent language and the perfect rhetoric. The most important benefit for our company was the sales pipeline. Adrian Capellarie (Head of Sales Admonter Holzindustrie)

Deutscher Holzfertigbau Verband

Interconnection provides us with the prefabricated house study a plausible and veritable data basis for the analysis of the actual situation in the prefabricated house market and beyond for the assessment of the future market development. We are happy to use this interpreted data for our lobbying and everyday work.

Thomas Schäfer (Managing Director, Deutscher Holzfertigbau-Verband)


The prefabricated housing study by Interconnection Consulting shows a real picture of the actual market situation and forms a valuable basis for our strategic decisions.

Gerhard Schuller (CFO ELK)


EPSON is satisfied with the Interconnection's way of communication with the market and with clients. EPSON is also appriciate the Interconnection's continuous work trying to aim the report to be at the higher level. As a result, EPSON rely on Interconnection data, for the market of POS Printers and Systems.

T.Murakami (Brand Management, Seiko Epson Corporation)


I appreciate on the forum "Impulsworkshop Vertriebsoptimierung" the practical relevance of Peter Berger linked with his practical examples. I also liked the sovereign presentation style. The most important benefit was for me, on the one hand refresh of methods and also the sales management tools that were shown. Ing. Dietmar Hammer (Head of Product Management Gaulhofer)


The most important benefit of the Impulsworkshop "sales optimization" was in my view the procedure of the definition of strengths and the entire sales process. Mr. Berger is very competent and professional. Fabian Freund (Sales Manager, Kontron Austria)

Österreichs Personaldienstleister

The sales management tool "Jobs Intelligence Austria" has become indispensable for many Austrian temporary staffing providers for fast and correct strategic management decisions as well as a daily support tool for hot leads for the sales team. Interconnection Consulting has consider individually to all user needs during development process and also convinces with fast response times during operation.

Dr. Gertraud Höltl (Generalsekretärin Österreichs Personal Dienstleister)

Saint Gobain

Long experience and deep understanding of the construciton industry markets make up the quality of the IC studies. Interconnection Consulting is a constant companion concerning the assessment of markets and helpful for decision-making.

Bernd Blümmers (Directeur General, Saint-Gobain Solar Systems, Central Europe, Aachen)


Interconnection Consulting reports deliver a worthfull external perspective and are so a good contrast with regards to our internal market point of views.

Pedro Posada (CEO Salamander Industrial Products Spain)

Scandinavian Business Seating

The IC Report gives a very good overview of the Western European office furniture market, in a well-structured way. The data is helpful to better understand the market developments and drivers.

Beatrice Sotelo (Director Business Development , Scandinavian Business Seating)

Schneider Electric

Under a short time constraint, Interconnection was able to deliver an outstanding study that exceeded my expectation in terms of quality and market breadth. I highly recommend Interconnection to anyone in need of market research.

Jeff Canterberry (Director of Strategy and M&A, Schneider Electric)


When developing new market strategies, Interconnection is a trusted source we always come back to. Christian Frey (Marketing Manager CS DACH)

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