Construction output drops in December: ONS

Official data from the Office for National Statistics shows that construction output fell in the final month of last year.

Seasonally adjusted figures reveal that new work in private new housing fell 6.8 per cent compared to the 3.1 per cent growth seen in November 2018.

December’s figure contributed to overall new work decreasing by 1.6 per cent, whereas in November this figure grew by 0.8 per cent.

The report notes that even an increase in smaller public new housing to the tune of 10.9 per cent could not offset the damage to December’s overall figure.

Naismiths managing director Blane Perrotton says: “Few sectors have seen the economic brakes slammed on as hard as construction.

“Labour shortages and rising material costs are eating into margins, and intense competition for the little work that is being put out to tender is forcing contractors to bid painfully low.

“Among developers, the sense that a messy ‘no deal’ Brexit is now a very real danger has choked off demand, and where investment can be deferred, it is.

“Barring an improbable, miraculous resolution to Britain’s Brexit deadlock in coming weeks, this painful inertia is set to continue.”

Thistle Finance manging director Mark Dyason adds: “While London and the South East are paying for excessive price inflation, in other areas of the UK demand for property is stronger and developers can still shift units and make a margin.

“Like many other sectors of the economy, construction will be on red alert as we approach 29 March. The hope is that the structural supply deficit will continue to serve as a hedge for developers and keep them ticking over.”

Recommended

Europe-European-Flags-EU-700.jpg

A third of UK firms consider Brexit relocation

Almost a third of UK firms have at least considered a move overseas in light of Brexit, according to a new survey by the Institute of Directors. The employers group says 18 per cent were either planning or actively considering moving activities overseas with 11 per cent – chiefly larger companies – having already done […]

House, plan

New build starts up 12%: MHCLG

The number of new build homes starts in England was up 12 per cent in the quarter ending September 2018, compared to both the previous three months and the same quarter last year. Statistics from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government show an estimated 44,740 (seasonally adjusted) dwellings started to undergo construction in […]

Retirement interest-only mortgages… five things you should know

Tom Gurrie offers some key insights into retirement interest-only mortgages. The rules have changedLast month the FCA redefined retirement interest-only mortgages – RIOs – as standard mortgages, not lifetime, to improve access to borrowing for older consumers, including interest-only borrowers facing shortfalls. Expect a boost in the number of these deals once lenders work through […]

Pensions - thumbnail

Changes to capped drawdown tables

The tables used for capped drawdown maximum income calculations have been updated. We look at the reasons for the change and what the impact could be. Changes to capped drawdown tables Capped income drawdown involves taking a pension directly from a fund instead of buying an annuity. However, there’s a limit on the maximum amount […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up