Housebuilding dominates as construction starts year on a high, reveals Barbour ABI

Housebuilding rose 83 per cent year-on-year as the construction industry started 2017 on a high with overall project awards increasing by 50 per cent when compared to December 2016, the latest statistics reveal.

According to Barbour ABI's Economic & Construction Market Review, activity levels increased as the value of new building contracts awarded in January reached £6 billion.

Private housing dominated with 91 per cent of the total £2.7 billion housing construction contract value in the first month of year - a rise of 25 per cent when compared with the same month in 2016.

Market conditions for private housing were also favourable for housebuilders in 2016, with Crest Nicholson reporting a 27 per cent increase in full year profits.

London led all regions for construction contract value in January with 26 per cent after scooping the month's largest project - the £900 million One Nine Elms Twin Towers development.

It wasn't such good news for the commercial and retail sector, which saw a year-on-year decrease of 40 per cent, while infrastructure also slumped to a 12-month low.

However, with £5.8 billion worth of housebuilding contracts nearing award status, growth is likely to continue over the next few months and beyond, says Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI.

“Whilst the housebuilding sector is performing admirably, we expect to see its growth continue to flourish across 2017."

He added: “The number of projects awarded in January jumped by 50 per cent compared with December and 25 per cent when looking at January last year.

"These figures are encouraging and would suggest that work is most certainly on the way.”

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