Resurgent residential market behind construction upsurge

Total construction output in Great Britain will leap by 30 per cent between 2013 and 2018 thanks to a resurgent residential market, suggest new figures.

The quarterly Construction and Housing Forecast Bulletin from AMA Research predictes construction output this year alone was forecast to grow by around six per cent to around £129bn.

"This will be underpinned by strong growth in the residential sector, with more moderate increases expected in the non-residential sector," said a spokeswoman.

"Throughout 2013 there has been evidence of genuine recovery within both construction sub-sectors, with overall growth particularly strong during Q2 and Q3."

Residential new work output is forecast to increase by a whopping 36 per cent between 2013 and 2015, stimulated by the recent extension of buying assistance schemes such as Help to Buy in the private sector and schemes to encourage investment in the rental sector such as Build to Rent.

Housing starts and completions are forecast to show strong growth in the short term as consumer confidence and mortgage lending rates. Completions are expected to reach 200,000 by 2017.

This was echoed by British Association of Landscape Industries technical director Neil Huck, who said landscape construction was benefiting from rising house prices and government incentives for infrastructure such as roads. Next year's general election however could hit confidence, he warned.

AMA Research director Andrew Hartley said: "Finally there are some genuine indications of recovery in the construction market. The residential sector in particular is seeing strong growth at the moment, driven by increased mortgage lending rates and an upward trend in new house prices."

Forecasts for the non-residential construction sector are also positive, with output expected to see annual growth rates of four to five per cent in the medium term to reach a value of around £65bn in 2018. Infrastructure output growth should continue to be underpinned by large-scale transport and electricity projects in the medium term, while offices and retail are forecast to see moderate growth.

AMA Research estimates construction output will increase at a rate of five to six per cent a year in the medium term, with output expected to represent a value of £158bn by 2018.

The Construction and Housing Forecast Bulletin – GB 2014-2018 Analysis is issued four times a year by market research and construction consultancy AMA Research.

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