Board of Director's Report

Operating environment

Due to the economic recession, employment conditions and consumer confidence weakened, resulting in decreased private consumption. The poor economic situation has postponed investment project start-ups.

Selling times of owner-occupied apartments increased and trade volume diminished during the latter part of 2013. Building companies' willingness to negotiate increased as sales of new construction declined and projects planned for owner-occupied apartments were increasingly offered for rental housing production.

Demand for the most expensive rental apartments has fallen. Demand for apartments corresponding to VVO's offerings has remained high. The occupancy rate of VVO's rental apartments has remained high.

Demand for rental housing remained high in the communities where VVO has a presence. More rental housing is needed, especially in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Production is clearly focusing on privately financed rental apartments.

The euro crisis and solvency regulations for banks were reflected in companies’ operations, in the form of rising loan margins and shorter maturities. Challenges relating to the availability of financing were also reflected in the real estate sector.

The Ministry of the Environment is preparing a legal reform that will improve the potential for state-subsidised production with, for example, a new 20-year interest subsidy model. If effected, the legal reform might improve the potential for state-subsidised production and thus increase rental housing production.