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15th March 2016
Projects starts in February were 6% higher than a year ago. The rise in February starts is encouraging, with the industry beginning to press on with projects delayed by the atrocious weather conditions seen at the turn of the year. This earlier weakness left the value of new work starting on site in the three month period to the end of February 23%, down on a year earlier.
Furthermore the progressive rise in projects securing detailed planning approval over the last year has ensured that the industry has a strengthening pipeline of potential work. The value of projects securing detailed planning approval has risen 8% over the last 12 month, driven by sharp rises in housing and private non-residential projects.
Private investor confidence will be key to how quickly these projects move to site over the coming months. The Prime Minister’s decision to call an early EU referendum on 23 June is good news for the industry as it minimizes the period of political uncertainty for investors.
Accordingly while the impending vote is likely to dampen project starts in the near term, the second half of 2016 could see a sharp rise in activity as private investors press ahead with projects once the issue of EU memberships has been resolved.
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