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  • Glenigan Index for August up 10% year on year but growth has dipped to the lowest level since February. 
  • Underlying value of residential project starts recorded its lowest rise since April 2013, with social housing activity down 11%.
  • Private housing starts up 16% on a year ago, maintaining the same pace of growth seen throughout 2014.
  • Road, rail and renewable energy investment drives 23% increase in underlying civil engineering starts.

Construction growth eased in the three months to August, pegged back by declining social housing work, according to the latest figures from industry analysts Glenigan.

The Glenigan Index, which covers the value of projects starting on site from May to July, is 10% higher than a year ago – easing from 15% recorded last month largely due to a slowdown in new residential work.

The underlying value of residential starts recorded its lowest rise since April 2013, up just 4% compared to a year ago. However underneath this headline figure is a divergence between the private and social housing sectors. Private housing starts rose by 16% on a year ago, maintaining the same pace of growth seen so far this year. By contrast, social housing starts fell 11% on a year earlier.GleniganIndex_Aug-14

Glenigan data suggests this relative dip will not knock the industry out of the steady groove it has found in 2014.

Allan Wilén, Economics Director at Glenigan, said: “Readings from the last six months have shown the underlying value of project starts expanding at rates around 12% each month. This is below the breakneck rises of 20% and 28% seen in the third and fourth quarters of last year but nonetheless represents a very healthy level of expansion.

“The flow of main contract awards shows plenty more work waiting in the wings. In total, £26.4 billion of work was secured in the first half of 2014, a 17% rise on a year earlier, with contractors strengthening their order books across the whole range of industry sectors. 

He added: “The only sector seeing a drop was social housing, suggesting further declines ahead.”

Elsewhere in this month’s Index, road, rail and renewable energy investment continues to drive growth in the value of underlying civil engineering starts, with the sector recording a 23% rise on a year earlier.

Expansion has been more modest at the higher end of the value scale, however a steady flow of large schemes continue to support overall workloads. Among the major schemes that started in the last three months and are excluded from Glenigan’s underlying figures is the Mersey Gateway Bridge, linking Runcorn and Widnes in the North West of England, and the Brigg renewable energy plant in North Lincolnshire. 

Growth in private non-residential work continues to outpace the public sectors, however development in the more consumer-facing areas of retail and hotel and leisure has been muted over the last three months.

Hotel and leisure starts were up 2% on a year ago, while retail saw a mild 1% drop. This compares with impressive rises of more than 40% in the value of office and industrial starts.

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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