(Bloomberg) -- Sweden’s residential property market saw construction levels falling more than half in the first quarter as one of the world’s worst real estate routs continues to gather steam.

The overall number of new dwelling starts totaled 7,437 in the first quarter compared to 16,675 in the same period of 2022, according to data compiled by Statistics Sweden. While the latest figures will likely be materially revised owing to a lag in reporting, the sector’s direction of travel is clear.

“We are in the worst crisis since the 1990s,” Anna Broman from the Swedish Construction Federation told newspaper Dagens Nyheter. “Housing construction will more than halve in two years.”

The European Commission expects Sweden to suffer the biggest economic contraction in the European Union this year as higher interest rates weigh on consumer spending and a housing market where prices are widely predicted to fall further after a recent rebound.

Read More: Sweden First Quarter Dwelling Starts Fall 55.4% on Year

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