Pace of construction starts slows

Construction starts in the three months to June were 21% down on a year ago, and were 8% lower than during the preceding three months, according to the latest data from Glenigan.

Residential starts were 25% lower than a year ago with a weakening in both private and social housing projects, while non-residential project starts were 16% lower than during the second quarter of 2017 due to a marked weakening in industrial and commercial project starts.

The value of work starting on site in the three months to June was 21% lower than a year ago and, on a seasonally adjusted basis, starts fell by 8% against the three months to March.

Allan Wilén, Glenigan’s economics director, said: “Disappointingly, the progressive decline in the value of underlying starts in recent months continued during June. The Index reveals a general decline in project starts during the last three months, most notably in housing, industrial, commercial and civil engineering projects. However, against this downward trend project starts in the education, health and hotel and leisure were little changed or up on a year ago.

“Private residential starts during the three months to June were 18% down on the same period a year ago, although starts were 9% up on the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis. Social housing starts fell away sharply, being 26% down on the first quarter of the year on a seasonally adjusted basis and 42% lower than a year ago.”

The overall drop in starts was widely felt across the country, with Northern Ireland the only part of the UK to see a small rise in the value of project starts.