Optimistic close to 2016

The value of work starting on site in the three months to December was 2% higher than during the same period a year ago, according to the latest Glenigan Index.

While starts were 14% lower than during the preceding months, this was due to the seasonal slowdown during December; on a seasonally adjusted basis starts were 4% higher than during the preceding quarter.

Allan Wilén, Glenigan’s economics director, said: “The latest Glenigan Index data indicate a steadying in market conditions and investor confidence. The stabilisation in industrial and office project starts is especially encouraging: Earlier in the year both sectors saw project starts fall sharply as investors reviewed the implications of the Brexit vote for their projects’ viability.”

Private residential starts during the three months to December were 6% ahead of a year ago, despite falling back against the previous quarter.

Looking ahead, the development pipeline remains positive, with the private residential approvals during the three months to December 10% up on a year ago. Encouragingly, social housing starts have also strengthened, being 3% up on a year.