Fewer projects put on hold as construction sector recovery continues

Construction sector

In the week the ONS announced the UK unemployment rate has dropped to 7.1 per cent, comes more evidence of the recovery from the built environment. Figures released by construction industry analysts Glenigan have revealed that the value of UK projects put on hold during 2013 was the lowest since the start of the recession in 2008. In total, £12 billion of potential projects were put on hold last year, compared to £47 billion in 2012 and a peak of £80 billion in 2009. According to Glenigan economist Tom Crane, the value of stalled projects have been falling since 2009, but the latest figure shows the continuation of an encouraging trend, with a 16 per cent fall in the value of underlying projects.  

Said Tom Crane: “This in part reflects the gradual recovery of confidence and activity from the shock that afflicted the industry and wider economy in 2008 and 2009.”

He added: “The falls also reflected that the overall development pipeline remained subdued during 2011 and 2012, with speculative projects no longer being put through the planning system.

“Alongside strong improvements in projects receiving planning approval during the last 18 months, the value of stalled projects has continued to fall as these developments progress more quickly to start on site.”

He added: “With output during the three months to November 2013 5.3 per cent higher than a year ago, and the January Glenigan Index showing a 15 per cent increase in project starts during the final quarter of last year, it’s clear that the construction industry is on a rising tide.”

“With fewer projects being mothballed by developers and a 10 per cent rise in new approvals during 2013, the industry seems set to go full steam ahead during 2014.”