Budapest (MTI) – The construction sector is set to grow in the coming years and the number of new homes built per year could double by the end of the current government cycle, Laszlo Koji, head of the association of construction entrepreneurs EVOSZ, told daily Magyar Idok on Saturday.

Over the past few years, the government has implemented measures that have generated investments, even by foreign businesses, both in the public and private sectors, Koji said. It has so far been harder for the government to trigger private investments, but the package passed last month included all the growth-enhancing measures the sector had wanted to see, such as the reduction of the VAT on newly-built homes to 5 percent, the reduction of red tape and the expansion of the family home-building scheme, he said.

Koji said it would take another one or two years for home construction to truly pick up as the construction of a new home is a drawn-out process.

He said the current labour shortage in the sector would force construction firms to increase workers’ wages in order to attract quality workforce.

Koji said EVOSZ is urging the government to sign agreements with the governments of Ukraine and Moldova to simplify work permit procedures for construction workers from those countries.

He said the reduction of the VAT could contribute to the whitening of the sector, potentially halving the industry’s debt chains which amounted to 400 billion forints (EUR 1.27bn) at the peak of the financial crisis.


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