Resi is UK construction’s bright spot

Resi is UK construction’s bright spot

Against a weakening picture of construction activity – down by a third against the same period in 2022 – private housing is the UK’s stand-out performer, soaring 19% during the fourth quarter of 2023 according to Glenigan’s January 2024 Construction Review.

Glenigan says the softening in both main contract awards and planning approvals aligns with the general pattern of UK economic activity and a febrile political environment, less than a year – or even five months – away from a General Election. However, it’s not all doom and gloom as the rise in private housing projects suggests expectations for the housing market are on the up; not least thanks to predictions of at least two and perhaps five interest rate cuts of 0.25% in 2024.

The January edition of the review which focuses on the three months to the end of December 2023, covering all major (>£100m) and underlying (<£100m) projects, with all underlying figures seasonally adjusted. The fall in construction activity was largely driven by a significant drop in major project performance, down 17% against the preceding three-month period, with starts being cut almost in half (-44%) compared with last year.

The sector-specific and regional index, which measures underlying project performance, saw starts softening across the board. However, the residential vertical picked up significantly, complemented by some encouraging upticks in a handful of UK regions.

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