Housebuilding Boosts Construction Industry In November
Housebuilding activity rose sharply last month, contributing to higher than expected activity in the construction sector, a report has shown.
The IHS Markit construction purchasing managers’ index recently highlighted a rise in activity from 50.8 to 53.1 – significantly higher than the 51 that had been forecast. A reading of more than 50 signifies growth.
Business activity rose at its strongest rate since June, while employment numbers and new orders also increased to their highest levels in five months.
The growth recorded has been largely attributed to a surge in housebuilding. Builders indicated that resilient demand and supportive national policies have helped accelerate the upturn in activity.
Associate director at IHS Markit Tim Moore commented: “UK construction companies experienced a solid yet uneven improvement in business conditions during November. Once again, resilient house building growth helped to offset lower volumes of commercial work and civil engineering activity.”
Although business confidence was subdued in light of economic and political uncertainty, optimism picked up slightly as a result of a slight recovery in tender invitations.
Duncan Brock, of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, welcomed the news that the housing sector had been the primary driver of growth in the industry, spurring activity to its highest rate in almost half a year.
However, the expert said that private companies now need to commit to commercial development, adding that construction supply chain delivery times have been under pressure from low stock and higher demand for materials, with lead times continuing their seven-year decline.
Last month, Chancellor Philip Hammond described housebuilding as the country’s top priority, promising up to 300,000 new homes every year.
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