Commercial construction

UK commercial construction industry stable

Commercial construction activity in the 12 months to the end of Q4 2017 grew to £15.5bn, up 5.5% compared with the previous quarter, according to new research.


The UK Commercial Construction Activity Index conducted by JLL and Glenigan revealed data for Q4 2017 in different sectors with activity in the office sector increasing 11.2% to £4.5bn, the education sector up 12% to £3.5bn, while the community sector grew 19.9% to £600m.

Scotland and the North West were the strongest-performing regions, both increasing activity by 18% during the quarter, while activity in London increased by 10.1% to £4.5bn.

Overall construction activity increased for the second consecutive quarter having declined sharply since mid-2015.

Helen Gough, lead director PDS – building consultancy, cost management, project management at JLL, said: “Despite the increased activity, construction is slightly down on this time last year.

“Total construction is 6.7% lower than in the 12 months to Q4 2016, and we are still seeing a significant reduction in construction activity over the longer term, with total construction 37.3% lower in 2015, and 34.6% lower in 2014.

“It is promising, however, to see that activity appears to have bottomed out in the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum in 2016, and we are now seeing a return to modest growth.”

Allan Wilén, economics director at Glenigan, added: “It’s also good to see that sentiment has improved over the last three months, undeterred by ongoing concerns relating to a potential skills shortage, tightening building regulations and Brexit-related economic headwinds.

“This increase in confidence points to a return to expansion, signalling good news for the sector.”

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