Social housing construction only highlight as building sector suffers poor start to 2013
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Development
The Glenigan Index for the three months to January fell by 18 percent compared with January 2012, as activity across most of the construction sector dropped off.
Social housing starts were up by one percent compared to last year - the only area of the sector to see an increase.
The fall in activity was led by the infrastructure and utilities sectors. Their decline was exaggerated by the particularly strong start to 2012, when projects were scheduled to ensure preparations were ready in time for the summer's Olympic Games.
Declines in the infrastructure sector were particularly bad in the South East of England where new work was down by 80 percent. Scotland and the East Midlands experienced similar declines.
Private residential starts were also poor, down four percent for the three months to January compared to the same period in 2012.
Glenigan Economist Andrew Whiffin said: "Private residential starts were disappointing in January, especially when the raft of government measures to promote activity are taken into account. However this month's fall is relatively small and we expect activity in the sector to pick up in the coming months.
"The start to 2013 has been somewhat disappointing, January tends to be a strong month but that is not the case this year. Compared to last year it's possible that the declines can in part be attributed to an Olympic related boost in the January 2012 start data. Poor weather will also have delayed planned project starts. Even so we would expect January to be better than December and that simply isn't the case this time around."