European lumber consumption increasing slowly 
 
As a consequence of the financial crisis lumber consumption in Europe collapsed after 2007 and actual consumption 2016 will be around 20 million m³ lower than pre-crisis level. This dramatic fall forced many European sawmills to direct shipments to MENA and Asia instead.
Building construction output in 2016 is expected to improve by 2.9%. A slightly lower forecast of 2.6% is estimated for 2017, followed by growth of 1.9% in 2018 according to Euroconstruct. With overall construction output increasing 2016-2018 we finally see a positive trend for European construction. "This is good news", says Jenny Wessung, CEO at Woodstat. "We estimate a steady increase in European softwood lumber consumption in coming years, but lumber consumption will still be around 15 million m³ lower than before the financial crisis."

Overall, the value of the residential market in Europe was €646 billion in 2015, with renovations accounting for 60% of the market according to Euroconstruct. The most significant factor affecting the residential market is the inflow of refugees which has been increasing the pressure to provide housing across Europe. By the end of 2016, the level of housebuilding will have increased by 9.2% to 1.54 million dwellings since the lowest point in the cycle 2013, with major contributions coming from Germany, UK and Sweden. "To that we can add a growing interest in wooden construction", says Jenny Wessung.