Project starts in hotel and leisure sector surge ahead

A 70% increase in starts in the hotels and leisure sector played a key role in project starts for the three months to December growing by 9%, compared to the same period in 2011, according to the Glenigan Index.

Andrew Whiffin, economist with Glenigan, comments, ‘The run-up to the new year has been awash with activity in the hotels and leisure sector. We have not only seen a number of large high-profile projects in recent months, but the flow of maintenance and repair work has also boosted underlying work in the final months of the year.

‘A number of new projects such as those related to the construction of the new Centre Parcs at Woburn have in the past few months helped push starts for the sector into growth for the full year.’

The housing sector continued to be strong in December. Private-housing starts were up 20% compared to the three months to December 2011. Social-housing new work continued to be strong, with starts up by 48%. Social housing has benefits in recent months from a greater than usual amount of refurbishment and maintenance work.

In the retail sector, starts in the three months to December 2012 were down by 33% compared to the same period in 2011. Andrew Whiffin comments, ‘Retail-sector projects have been dominated by the supermarket chains in 2012. Their expansion programmes drove growth over the first half of the year, and it is the throttling back of these programmes that has led to a slowdown as we head into 2013.’

Other information from the Glenigan showed education starts down 22% and health starts down 21%.

Measures announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement are expected to benefit the education sector next year, which, combined with the on-going Building Schools for the Future programme, should see project starts pick up into 2013.

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