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20th May 2013
The value of projects going onto hold declined in the three months to April down 12% compared to the value of projects that went onto hold during the three months to April last year. There were fewer projects going on hold from almost every sector barring the two civil engineering sectors which both saw substantial gains in the value of projects placed on hold.
The value of commercial property projects going on hold fell across both the retail and office sectors, down 25% and 50% respectively. There were a substantial amount of supermarket projects that went on hold in the three month period that were regionally focussed in the midlands and north of the country.
Projects going on hold in the residential sector were also down, private housing saw the value decline by 8% to £430m in the three months to April, still a significant amount but far less than at the peak of the crisis in 2009. Social housing saw the value of projects going on hold decline sharply to just £33m from over £200m in the three months to April last year.
The private housing sector still accounted for the largest proportion of projects going onto hold, in the three months to April 23% of projects going on hold were private housing sector projects. While the sector was essentially flat during the three month period, data for the month of April alone does show a sharp fall in the value of projects going on hold, consistent with the view that confidence began to return to the sector last month after a poor performance in the first quarter.
The value of civil engineering projects going on hold increased sharply during the three months to April, the value of infrastructure and utilities projects up seven fold and four fold respectively. Utilities projects going on hold were dominated by renewable energy projects, notably wind farms in Scotland and Wales. The value of infrastructure projects going on hold increased mainly due to a number of road and rail projects.
Regionally the majority of projects going on hold in the three months to April were in Scotland, which accounted for 18% of such projects in the three month period, in a large part this was due to the number of wind projects being placed on hold in the country. The west midlands saw the largest increase in projects on hold, more than doubling to £274m in the three months to April, pushed higher by the rail extension project mentioned above.
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