With the first three months of post-Brexit figures in the books, a rise of 12% in residential contracts saw construction sector contracts across September reached a total of £5.6 billion, a minor increase on August, and after a summer wobble the industry seems to have stabilised.
According to the October edition of the Economic & Construction Market Review from industry analysts Barbour ABI, the residential sector played a prominent role in stabilising construction figures across September. With the government pushing for more housing to be built and ambitious targets set, over £1.7 billion of residential contracts were agreed to on the month, a year on year increase of 12 per cent.
Another sector that performed well this past month was the hotel, leisure & sport industry, with construction contracts value worth over £500 million, a massive 99 per cent higher than a year ago. This was helped greatly by the commissioning of the Aberdeen exhibition and conference development worth £330 million. The sector’s improved performance will be received favourably after a fairly stagnant year.
The most disappointing sector on the month was infrastructure, which was down by a substantial 44.5 per cent on the month compared to September 2015. Additionally if it wasn’t for the £657 million M4 smart motorway scheme in Berkshire, then this figure would be much lower.
Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said: “Overall, the construction sector has so far been robust enough to stave off the potential effects from the shock Brexit vote and has kept contract values at a healthy level, helped significantly by residential projects and the often wavering infrastructure sector.”
“A welcome boost for the industry would be an increase in contract values from other sectors outside of residential & infrastructure, such as commercial & retail, which had its poorest month in September since May 2015.”