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Report states house-building is flourishing

Strong start to 2017 as house-building figures “increased sharply” in January 2017, but other sectors need to start to perform

Barbour ABI’s latest Economic & Construction Market Review claims that housing figures increased sharply across January 2017, with construction contract value reaching £2.7bn, which equates to an 83% increase compared with January 2016.

Barbour says of all the types of projects across house-building, it was private housing that dominated in January, with 91% of the total construction contract value in January, compared to just 66% a year ago. Barbour ABI also reports that market conditions for private housing were also favourable for house-builders in 2016, with Crest Nicholson recently reporting a 27% increase in full year profits.

There are also said to be currently £5.8 billion worth of house-building contracts that are nearing award status, suggesting this month’s growth is likely to continue over the next few months and beyond.

London, unsurprisingly, led all regions based on total construction contract value in January, accounting for 26%. This was helped greatly by the £900 million One Nine Elms Twin Towers development, the largest project recorded on the month.

Commenting on the figures, Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said: “Whilst the house-building sector is performing admirably, we expect to see its growth continue to flourish across 2017. However, other sectors now need to start producing more auspicious figures, such as the commercial & retail sector, which saw a year-on-year decrease of 40% last month. Infrastructure, another traditionally big performing sector, is also in a slump with January figures being the lowest for 12 months.

“On the positive side, the number of projects awarded in January jumped by 50% compared with December and 25% when looking at January last year. These figures are encouraging and would suggest that work is most certainly on the way.”