Overall construction activity

In 2021 the volume of construction increased by 2.0%. New building construction continued its rapid growth in new residential construction. New non-residential construction decreased by 1.1%. Investments in civil engineering kept growing in 2021 but at a slower pace than in 2020. Finland’s economy grew 3.5% in 2021. GDP will continue to grow but at a slower pace, around 1.0% in 2022. The war in Ukraine cuts forecasted GDP growth from 3.0% to around 1.0%.     

In 2022 total construction output will grow modestly. Housing starts are expected to decrease, but last year’s housing starts will continue to support residential building volume in the first half of this year. New non-residential construction is expected to grow this year although the War in Ukraine casts major uncertainty over investments in Finland. 

The growth rate of housebuilding renovations is anticipated to be around 1.0%. The volume of civil engineering is expected to decrease in 2022 by 1.0%.

Employment in construction averaged 188,000 people at the end of 2021 according to The Labour Force Survey. In 2018 the average unemployment rate in the construction sector fell to 6.3%. Employment in the construction sector is expected to stay at last year level in 2022.


The level of housing starts will decrease from a high level in 2022. Households and investors demand is expected to decrease. We estimate 35,000-40,000 housing starts in 2022. The overall picture of the housing market is stable although the war in Ukraine has had negative impacts on consumer confidence. Building costs are also rising rapidly. Employment and earnings are expected to stay at a good level. In the long run the Finnish housing market is still boosted by urbanisation. The number of residential building completions will still stay very high during 2022. 

The prices of old dwellings increased rapidly in 2021. The price gap is still widening between the Helsinki region and other parts of Finland. Urbanisation will pick up pace in coming years after a short break caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Urbanisation is at a low level in Finland compared to other countries.

Residential repair, maintenance and improvement work is increasing steadily in Finland. In 2021 the sector growth was quite modest. The pace will pick up in 2022.


GDP 2021




Total investment in construction in 2021


Non-residential construction

Non-residential construction activity decreased by 1.1% in 2021. Non-residential construction, especially commercial and office buildings suffered from uncertainty caused by the pandemic. 

The construction of commercial and office buildings is expected to pick up pace 2022. Investments in industry and warehouse buildings is expected increase although the war in Ukraine might slow down some of the investments.

Public sector new building has been growing steadily from the 1990’s. Main driver has been the ageing population and ageing buildings. In 2022, investment in large hospital projects will continue but growth in school building will slow down. Rising building costs might slow down public projects in 2022. Public building is expected to slow down in the next few years. 

Overall, the volume of non-residential construction is expected to grow modestly this year. 

Civil engineering

The civil engineering sector increased by 1.0% in 2021. Government covid-19 crisis stimulus in 2020 spilled over to last and affected positively.

New investments are expected to stay low level as the government austerity program cuts finances in 2022. Investments in civil engineering are driven by the need of energy and water and sewer sectors and railroads. Major communities are also investing in streets and roads despite the investment limits. 

In 2022, civil engineering is expected to decrease by 1.0%.

Per cent variation of investment in real terms on previous year
investment Mln. € fixed prices
  Sectors 2021a 2018 2019 2020 2021a 2022a
1. Building 23,052 5.0 -0.8 -1.9 2.5 1.9
    1.1. Housebuilding 12,487 3.69 -4.11 -1.97 5.71 1.74
       1.1.1. New 5,925 10.0 -7.3 -4.9 10.8 2.0
       1.1.2. Renovation 6,562 -1.6 -1.2 0.6 1.5 1.5
    1.2. Non residential (c) 10,564 6.6 3.2 -1.9 -1.1 2.0
       1.2.1. Private 8,029 6.6 3.2 -1.9 -1.1 2.0
       1.2.2. Public 2,535 6.6 3.2 -1.9 -1.1 2.0
2. Civil Engineering 9,593 0.1 4.0 -1.5 1.0 -1.0
(1 + 2) Total Construction 32,645 3.5 0.6 -1.8 2.0 1.0
a: estimate - b: forecast - c: incl. R&M
Number of building permits in residential construction
  2018 2019 2020 2021a 2022b
single dwelling 10.990 9.851 9.879 11.878 9.000
collective dwelling 32.355 28.799 31.224 32.713 26.000
other types of dwelling n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Total 43.345 38.650 41.103 44.591 35.000
(Collective dwellings and other types of buildings: in number of flats)