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Slower rate of decline for project-starts suggesting end to market slow-down

  • Work on-site for private housing climbs 29% on 2020 figures but falls by a third on three months previous
  • Value of residential work starting on-site increases by over a quarter on previous year but drops 24% against past three months
  • Hotel and leisure increase projects-starts by over a half compared to last year (52%)
  • Health best performing non-residential sector, increasing 9% on three months prior and nearly 90% on 2019.
  • Infrastructure project-starts see downturn, dropping nearly a half (48%)

Slower rate of decline

Despite project-starts declining consistently across the board, a slowing rate suggests an upward trajectory is due towards the end of the year. Certain sectors are also bucking the trend, with social housing, health and hotel and leisure all achieving growth against Q2 figures of this year.

Residential rouses hope

Residential is also raising optimism – the value of residential work starting on-site increased by over a quarter (26%) compared with the same time last year, however this is down by a similar amount (23%) compared to 2019.

Social housing project-starts also rose by nearly a fifth (18%) on 2020 figures and 8% on the previous three months.

Private housing work starting on-site also climbed by nearly a third against last year (29%), however this was down by 28% compared with the preceding three months.

Strong results for hotel and health

The hotel and leisure sector also performed well with project-starts rising by over a half (52%) compared with the same time last year. Additionally, it was the only sector to achieve growth against the preceding three months with the exception of social housing.

Health was the stand-out non-residential sector of the period, increasing 9% against the past three months and up 3% on the previous year. In addition, health starts were up 89% compared with the same period in 2019.

Retail project-starts also saw an increase of 55% compared with the previous year and was up by 15% on the same period in 2019. However, the sector did experience a 30% drop on value of the preceding three months.

Infrastructure struggles

Infrastructure project-starts experienced a down turn, dropping by nearly a half (48%) against the past three months and standing 22% lower than 2020 levels. However, civil engineering project-starts offer a glimmer of hope, climbing 6% when compared to 2020 figures. Utilities project-starts also bucked the trend, increasing 81% against the previous year and a quarter compared with the past three months.

Regional excellence for North West

Whilst the majority of regions experienced growth in project-starts against the previous year, the North West performed exceptionally well with a 39% increase on the previous year and a rise of over a quarter (27%) compared with the last three months. The region was also the only area of the country to experience growth on the preceding three months and was the best performing region against 2020 figures.

Equally the North East is also showing promise, growing by around a third (30%) compared with last year whilst the East of England, West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber experienced a strong yearly increase but still remained down on the three-month previous.

Rhys Gadsby, Glenigan’s Economic Analyst, commented on the latest figures. “Although project-starts have consistently declined across most regions and sectors over the last five months, they’ve largely remained up on the previous year. We can also see that project-starts are declining at a much-slower rate, suggesting that we could be nearing the nadir of the decline and that a returning climb is on the horizon. Rising business confidence as well as a very high level of main contract awards should also help reverse the trend heading towards the final months of the year.”

Glenigan customers can view all sector and regional performance analyses in your Insight pages.

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