Market structure and economic status for firms producing single-family houses in Sweden

University dissertation from Växjö : Linnaeus University

Abstract: The gradually changing behavior of the population, towards urbanization, ledto an increased shortage of available housing. This development has resultedin a serious issue in Sweden, where too few firms are providing solutions formulti-family houses in wood. Potential firms that could fill this increasingdemand are those in the single-family house industry. Yet, these firms mightface considerable problems with productivity, predominately derived fromincreasing production costs and inadequate production development.Developing these firms are associated with long-term investments, whichis investigated by evaluating the industry structure for sellers, highlightingthe financial and market situation within their industry. These factors aregrowing in importance due to the current market concentration, where morefirms are required to focus on product development driven by the demand toprefabricate wooden elements, volumes or modules in an industrialized way.This thesis studies Swedish firms producing wooden single-familyhouses, with the aim to investigate their possibilities to enter the woodenmulti-family house industry in Sweden.Investigations will be conducted by applying Altman’s Z’ value, riskposition model, the Herfindahl-Hirschman index, the Herfindahl-Hirschmannumber equivalent, productivity ratio model for profitability and finally amodel measuring market Concentration Ratio.Results show that the industry tends towards perfect competition with toomany firms involved, i.e. firms mainly have to compete by prices. Further,firms are grouped into three zones; risk, grey or safe zone. The levels withinthese zone show a reduction of firms in the red zone over time. Related to thecurrent risks, many firms have promising positions to invest in productdevelopment towards wooden multi-family houses, in addition to theircurrent products, even though firm productivity has declined during thestudied time frame. The results that the investigated firms have goodpossibilities gaining a competitive advantage by diversifying into thegrowing wooden multi-family house industry.