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  • Glenigan Index for November 4% higher than a year ago, marking 17 months of consecutive growth. 
  • Office and retail sectors both record 25% year on year increase in project starts.
  • Continuing split within the Glenigan Residential Index, with private housing starts rising by 15% for the year to date in contrast to flat social housing performance.

Commercial activity continues to ramp up at a marked pace, driving construction growth into the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the latest figures from industry analysts Glenigan.

The Glenigan Index for November, which covers projects starting on site during the three months to October, has increased by 4% compared to a year earlier. This figure is up slightly from 3% in September and marks the 17th consecutive monthly Index rise.

Office and retail starts both saw a 25% year on year increase, with the commercial sector boosted by a number of major London schemes, including the £95 million One Mitre Square development which broke ground in August.GleniganIndex_November2014

Allan Wilén, Economics Director at Glenigan, said: “Commercial and civil engineering work are taking over from housing as the lead drivers of new construction starts.

“This broad footing of construction growth bodes well for the upcoming period of political uncertainty ahead of the general election, and as expectations of an interest rate rise appear to be dampening confidence among UK homeowners.”

Following last month’s dip, the Glenigan Residential Index is hovering just outside of negative territory, recording no change compared to a year earlier. 

Private house building remains on the up, despite the recent stall, with starts rising by 15% so far in 2014. In contrast, social housing continues to struggle, with starts flat for the year to date.

This divergence can also be seen within the planning pipeline; during the three months to September the underlying value of private housing approvals was up by 24%, while social approvals were down 24%.

A weakening in industrial confidence has coincided with the first fall in project starts for the sector since July last year. Nonetheless, Glenigan expects this slowdown to be short-lived, with industrial remaining on course to be the fastest expanding sector during 2014.

A substantial flow of prospective industrial projects continues to make its way through the planning pipeline, with the underlying value of projects receiving approval up 42% in the three months to September.

Freed from the constraints of referendum uncertainty, a slew of work starting during October has seen Scotland return to growth after four months of declining starts. As in recent months, the northern English regions, Northern Ireland and Wales are gaining ground fastest, all seeing double digit growth over the last three months.

By contrast, the East and South West of England saw starts fall back compared to a year ago, while the South East has kept pace with the UK average of 4% expansion.

For the first time since July last year, London recorded a fall in project starts. However, Glenigan data points to momentum in the capital remaining. After a 21% rise last year, the capital is set to achieve double digit growth once again over 2014 as a whole.

The monthly Glenigan Index is based on extensive research of every construction project starting in the UK over the previous three-month period, providing an indicator of developing activity and future output in the industry.

PR contacts:

Kirsty Maclagan (Marketing and Communications Manager)
T: +44 (0)1202 786 842│E: kirsty.maclagan@glenigan-old.thrv.uk
Allan Wilén (Economics Director)
T: +44 (0)751 579 4625| E: allan.wilen@glenigan-old.thrv.uk
Notes to the Editor:
The Glenigan Index of projects starts provides a leading indicator of construction activity in the UK. It is based on data collected about every building project started on site in the previous three-month period. The Index covers civil engineering, office and commercial projects over £250,000 and more than 10 units for residential property. It excludes any project over £100 million. A full copy of the Glenigan forecast is available upon request.

About Glenigan:
Glenigan is the UK’s leading provider of construction data, contract leads and construction market analysis. Combining comprehensive data gathering and exhaustive research with detailed statistical modelling and expert analysis, it delivers a trusted insight into UK construction trends and activity. Glenigan customers include government agencies, construction companies and suppliers of materials and services to the industry.

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