Projects starting on site show sharp surge

Glenigan

The value of construction projects starting on site in the three months to April was 23% up on the preceding three months and also 23% up on the same three months a year earlier — according to the latest figures from Glenigan. There was firm growth in non-residential and residential starts, with private housing, industrial and commercial particularly strong. A sharp rebound in civil-engineering projects also boosted overall starts.

The figures exclude project starts valued at over £100 million in order to present clearer time-series trends.

Commenting on these figures, Allen Wilén, Glenigan’s economics director, said, The rise in starts during the three months to April is welcome news. It is particularly encouraging that the pick up in project starts has been broadly based across all construction sectors.

‘Furthermore, the development pipeline remains firm, despite a recent dip in planning approvals that is mainly attributable to fewer public-sector projects.

‘Overall, the value of planning approvals during the 12 months to April was 3% up on the preceding period. The development pipelines for private-housing, industrial and office projects are particularly strong.’

In the near term, Glenigan anticipates that investor nerves may dampen the current upturn in project starts ahead of the EU referendum on 23 June. Nevertheless, Glenigan expects a rise in projects going out to tender over the coming months as clients line up work to start in the second half of the year. While project starts may dampen in the near term, it is thought that the second half of 2016 could see a sharp rise in activity as private investors press ahead with projects once the issue of EU membership has been resolved.

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