Glenigan reports positive news in buildings activity

Glenigan, economic forecast

Activity in many sections of the construction industry was buoyant in the final quarter of 2014, according the figures from industry analyst Glenigan. Private-housing activity was up by 7% in Q4, with a 15% year-on-year increase for 2014 as a whole. However, continuing declines in social housing made the Glenigan residential index flat in the latest period. The non-residential sector was up by 4%, led by double-digit grown in office and industrial project starts. Private-housing activity was up.

The civil-engineering sector was much weaker, with project starts falling by 14% against a strong 2013 base.

Glenigan data suggests that the industry is in a strong position going into 2015, buoyed by 10% growth in project starts last year — matching pre-recession levels to be on a par with 2007 and the fastest pace for seven years.

Allan Wilén, economics director with Glenigan, said, ‘The forward pipeline is encouraging. In contrast to the pause in starts over the last three months, the flow of projects achieving planning approval has accelerated.

‘The underlying value of schemes receiving detailed approval rose by 29% on a year earlier during the three months to November. Over the first 11 months of 2014, the underlying value of schemes approved rose by 8%, following an 11% rise in 2013.’

The 4% growth in the non-residential sector during the final quarter masked divergent trends between different market areas. Overall, privately financed sectors continue to fare better than those reliant on the public sectors.

The office and industrial sectors both saw double-digit growth compared to a year earlier, while education and community and amenity starts fell back.

The retail sector saw starts fall over the last three months of 2014 and the year as a whole.

The health sector bounced back during the second half of the year, with starts rising by 18% over the latest three months.

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