Sevra Rende, associate director at S&P Global Sevra Rende, associate director at S&P Global.

The European Rental Association (ERA) has revised upwards its forecasts for rental growth in 2023 on the back of better than expected construction growth, although the outlook for 2024 is less positive.

ERA’s consultants, S&P Global, have uprated 2023 rental growth forecasts for all but two of the eight largest rental markets in Europe, because of a better than expected performance of construction markets.

France is now expected to expand by 3.1% rather than the 1.8% that was expected in late 2022. German growth increases from 2.4% to 4.3%, and Italy moves up from 4.4% to 6.5%. Norway (6.0%), Spain (5.2%) and the UK (3.3%) have all shifted up by around 1.0%.

Only Sweden and Norway have seen a reduction in the forecast rental growth for 2023: in the Netherlands growth is now expected to be 2.4% rather than 2.6%, and in Sweden the forecast falls from 1.8% to 1.0%.

However, Sevra Rende, associate director at S&P Global, speaking on the second day of the ERA convention, said growth rates would fall back in most of the major European markets in 2024, with the exception of the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

Growth in the range between 2.0 and 3.5% is forecast for most markets in 2024, but with higher rates in the Netherlands (4.0%), Norway (4.6%) and Spain (8.1%).

“I think the equipment rental market is going to continue to outperform construction”, said Rende, “However, we are expecting it to be somewhat muted on activity level.”

She said residential markets would continue to offer good opportunities for the rental market, as would infrastructure projects; “There is still lots of infrastructure work happening in Europe, especially supported by European recovery and resilience funds. That is going to support the equipment rental business as well.”

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