Pre-Brexit figures show drop in construction output

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that output in the construction industry in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2016 was estimated to have decreased by 0.7% compared with Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2016.

In June 2016, construction output decreased by 0.9%  compared with May 2016 and between Quarter 1 2016 and Quarter 2 2015, output was estimated to have decreased by 1.4%.

The reporting period covers the second quarter of 2016 plus the calendar month of June 2016, and therefore includes data for a short period after the EU referendum. The ONS says there is very little anecdotal evidence at present to suggest that the referendum has had an impact on output.

Andrew Bridges, managing director of Stirling Ackroyd, said: “There’s been a dip in total new housing work – but housing remains a stable and reliable source of construction work. Brexit may not have put developers off building yet but this slowdown needs to be reversed if enough new homes are to be built over the next few years. Work has dropped quarter-on-quarter and so too has the number of new homes approved in the capital – with a 22% drop in Q2 2016 from the previous year.

“But, as ever with construction and house building, it’s all about the pipeline. Next year will see huge construction projects like HS2 and Crossrail take centre stage – having a huge knock-on benefit for housing and infrastructure opportunities. This will open up new areas of London and once the bricks start being laid momentum will keep growing. London desperately needs more homes to be built. Planning inefficiency is one of the main delays leading many developers to re-think projects. One of the new government’s top priorities should be a new willingness to challenge the rigid planning system and bring new homes to London.”

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