Construction Sector Grows at Fastest Pace in More Than a Year

Construction Sector Grows at Fastest Pace in More Than a Year

The growing sense of optimism within the construction sector is continuing, with UK construction activity in February growing at its fastest pace in more than a year. But there is concern that inclement weather may be affecting building projects.

The February outcomes from the IHS Markit/The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) construction survey, reveal the strongest expansion of house building activity since July 2018. 

The findings are being driven by a recovery in the housebuilding sector, and follow on from housing being named the best performing area of construction in January.  

The authors hypothesise that this growth can be attributed to lower mortgage rates and a strong labour market underpinning the housing sector’s recovery.

The authors wrote: “Survey respondents noted that improved demand had translated into higher levels of business activity in February, particularly in the housing and commercial sub-sectors. Commercial construction activity also returned to growth after more than one year of contraction.” 

Prior to the December general election, political and economic uncertainty over Brexit led to reduced confidence within the sector, but the so-called ‘Boris bounce’ has seemingly resulted in a momentum shift in 2020. 

“There were widespread reports that pent-up demand released since the general election had helped to boost workloads,” said Tim Moore, economics director at IHS Markit.

Builders Taking a Rain Check

That said, you only have to look out the window to see how the weather has turned since the beginning of the year, with flooding and snow causing travel disruption across the UK. 

The PMI survey noted that, “there were some reports that severe weather conditions had led to delays on site and acted as a brake on growth.”

Bad weather can affect your self build or extension in a variety of ways, including delays in materials arriving at your build site, and weather conditions preventing work continuing on site – causing issues with timelines and costs. 

With winter weather proving challenging across the UK, adapting your self build schedule may be necessary to prevent further disruption. 

Has your build been affected by the inclement weather? Share your story by messaging [email protected]

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