Value of projects remains subdued

The value of work starting on site in the three months to August was 9% lower than a year ago, according to the latest Glenigan Index. On a seasonally adjusted basis, starts were 1% lower than during the three months to May.

Private residential starts during the three months to August were 9% down on the same period a year ago. On a seasonally adjusted basis starts were 1% up on the three months to May. Social housing starts have fallen sharply, dropping 13% against the three months to May on a seasonally adjusted basis, and being 36% lower than a year ago.

Overall, non-residential projects were 5% lower than a year ago and 4% down against the three months to May on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Sharp falls in office and community and amenity starts contributed to the decline against the preceding three months. Year-on-year declines in industrial, office, hotel and leisure and community and amenity projects overshadowed a 50% rise in health project starts and a modest recovery in retail sector work.

Allan Wilén, Glenigan’s economics director, said: “The value of underlying projects starting on site remains subdued. The latest Glenigan Index for August was 9% down on a year ago and little changed on the weak level of starts seen so far in 2018. The Index reveals a general decline in residential and non-residential building projects starting on site during the last three months, most notably in social housing, commercial and community projects. However, against this downward trend, there has been a strengthening in health and civil engineering work.”