Resi starts show faint revival

Resi starts show faint revival

Glenigan’s September 2023 edition of its Construction Review suggests that the resi sector is showing weak signs of recovery: against a backdrop of bad news for the rest of the construction industry.

Residential starts-on-site increased 6% during the three months to the end of August – albeit to stand 11% lower than a year ago. Private housing was up 14% against the preceding three-month period, although still nearly 10% less when compared to 2022.

While not grounds for cheer as such, the Q3 figures are in contrast to the Q2 Home Builders Federation’s last Housing Pipeline Report – also based on statistics from Glenigan – which showed the number of planning permissions granted across England for new build houses continuing to fall, maintaining the downward trend of the past two years.

At 2,456, the number of projects granted planning permission during Q2 of 2023 was the lowest since the Housing Pipeline Report began recording in 2006. Approval was granted for 62,681 homes during the second quarter, dropping 16% on the previous quarter and 13% as compared to the same period a year ago. Other than the quarter affected by Covid-19, Q2 2020, this is the fewest permissioned homes in a quarter since 2015.

Despite upbeat news around overall planning approvals, and bright spots in residential and civils performance, the rest of the September review paints a depressing picture of decline across almost every sector.

Commenting on the review, Glenigan’s economic director, Allan Willen says, “Whilst recent editions of the Review have made for sobering reading, an impressive uptick in detailed planning approvals on last year should be welcomed. It’s encouraging to see growth in individual sector verticals, with civils starts up 3% and a tentative recovery in residential starts”.

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