November 12, 2015
The construction industry has returned to growth after six months of contraction, according to figures released by industry analysts Glenigan. Its latest Index also found that the value of projects starting on site are higher than a year earlier for the first time since March, fueled by growth across the industry; with housing, civil engineering and non-residential building sectors all up on a year earlier. Non-residential starts as a whole were up 4 percent on a year earlier, as growth in private sector activity offset continued weakness across the public sector. Industrial, office, retail and hotel and leisure starts all registered growth. Although UK construction has moved back into growth, it is the English regions outside of the Capital which are seeing most activity. London, Wales and Scotland last saw growth in March this year and South West England hasn’t recorded a rise in starts since May 2014.
Commenting on this month’s figures, Allan Wilén, Glenigan’s Economics Director, said: “The last three months have seen the commercial and industrial sectors finally shaking off the worries of earlier this year.”
According to Mr Wilén: “London has seen consistently weak levels of both project starts and planning approvals during 2015, after the rapid rates of expansion recorded during 2013 and 2014.”
He added: “As such, it is the English regions outside of the Capital that are leading growth, with the Midlands a particular hot spot.”
The West Midlands saw starts up 37 percent on a year earlier and the East Midlands by 28% during the three months to October. The North West also saw a strong 27 percent rise in starts, with more modest growth being recorded across the North East, Yorkshire and Humber and South East England.
Indications of coming activity are even stronger: Glenigan have recorded rising values of work achieving planning approval in 11 of the 12 constituent English regions and nations of the UK. Only the capital saw approvals down compared to a year earlier during 2015 so far.