Political indecision and uncertainty brushed off
Starts in the three months to May rose 6% against the preceding three months and were 8% higher than a year ago.
Residential starts were 12% up on the preceding three months and 10% higher than a year ago, while non-residential project starts were 3% higher than a year ago, lifted by a rise in industrial and retail work.
Civil engineering starts slipped by 10% against the preceding three months but were 24% higher than a year ago.
The value of work starting on site during the three months to May was 8% higher than a year earlier, according to the latest Glenigan Index. Starts were also 6% higher against the previous three months on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Commenting on this month’s figures, Allan Wilén, Glenigan’s economics director, said: “Projects starts have strengthened in recent months, brushing off current political indecision and uncertainty.”
He continued: “Private residential starts strengthened during the three months to May. Project starts had been weakening since last autumn against a backdrop of fewer property transactions and weaker house price inflation in the wider housing market. However private housing starts rose 8% during the three months to May against the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis and were 2% up on a year ago. The turnaround in social housing starts after a weak first quarter is more dramatic, with starts jumping 24% against the three months to February to stand 32% up on a year ago.”
Growth was largely focused along the east of the country, with London, south east, north east, east of England and Yorkshire and the Humber all enjoying double digit growth of 59%, 11%, 47%, 25% and 26% respectively.
Wales also saw a 30% rise in project starts. In contrast, the value of starts in East Midlands, south west and north west, Northern Ireland and Scotland were 18%, 11%, 34%, 37% and 7% lower than a year ago.