The crisis did not hinder the manufacturers of prefabricated houses in Bosnia and Herzegovina who, during the past nine months, exported these products abroad worth 104.92 million Bosnian Marks, which is almost 11 million more compared to the same period last year.
According to data from the Indirect Taxation Authority (UIO) of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the most popular markets for prefabricated house manufacturers this year were Germany, Croatia, and Austria. In the same period last year, prefabricated houses worth 93.74 million Bosnian Marks were exported.
In contrast to exports, UIO data show that prefabricated houses worth 6.25 million Bosnian Marks were imported into Bosnia and Herzegovina from abroad this year, while local residents spent 5.46 million Marks on them the previous year.
Milenko Stevanović, the owner of the company “Steko Centar” in Bijeljina, stated that they have their hands full and have recently entered the Australian market, where they expect higher sales in the near future than they will have in the entire European Union this year.
“Due to the high volume of work, we recently hired new workers. We export our products to 20 countries, and currently, we have the most business in Switzerland. In Germany, there is a sense of fear among the residents, and people are not buying houses or furniture anymore; demand has dropped by 50 percent there,” Stevanović said. His workers abroad built 37,000 square meters or around 300 houses last year.
He emphasized that this year, they expect to place up to 15 percent more prefabricated houses on the foreign market compared to last year.
The “Savoks” company from Milići is also in high demand, with 99 percent of its production going to foreign markets. Executive director Slaviša Lukić confirmed that there is no shortage of buyers.
“This year, we have much more work than we did last year. Additionally, we already have certain, significant, and large projects for the next year,” Lukić said, adding that the price per square meter remains stagnant, as certain building materials have become cheaper.
According to him, the price per square meter, in addition to insulation quality and appearance, also depends on the market.
At the “Grossist” company in Prijedor, foreigners are showing interest in prefabricated houses almost daily, but due to pre-planned activities for this year, they haven’t exported anything yet.
“This year, we are developing a new housing program, the Scandinavian style, which we will first introduce on our market and then on the foreign market next year,” said the company’s director, Nemanja Vujković.
Igor Andrić, Secretary of the Forestry and Wood Processing Association in the Chamber of Commerce of Republika Srpska, stated that more and more companies in Republika Srpska are starting to manufacture prefabricated houses due to the increasing demand.
“Prefabricated houses are much cheaper than traditional brick houses, which is why more and more people, both locally and globally, are opting for them,” Andrić said.
According to UIO data, Bosnia and Herzegovina exported prefabricated houses worth 130.8 million Bosnian Marks to foreign countries during the previous year, with Germany being the largest market. As for imports, last year, Bosnia and Herzegovina received houses worth 8.23 million Bosnian Marks from abroad, mainly from Turkey and Italy.