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Flooding leads to drop in new build 'social housing' starts

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Flooding leads to drop in new build 'social housing' starts

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Development

Housebuilding Housebuilding

The recent flooding that afflicted large parts of the country has led to a 15% drop in the amount of 'social housing' new build starts.

However, the latest Glenigan Index, which covers the value of projects starting on site from December 2013 to February, shows that construction growth as a whole continued to rise despite the disruption caused by the bad weather.

Construction in the UK was up 10% year-on-year in February, which Glenigan has credited to new infrastructure and private non-residential starts.

The private housing sector saw starts up by 5% in the three months to February 2014 relative to the same period of 2013. But the growth was offset by a 15% decline in 'social housing' starts, with an overall 2% decline in the Glenigan residential index.

Allan Wilén, economics director at Glenigan, said: "Private sector investment is main driver behind the latest 10% rise in construction project starts. Glenigan has recorded growth in the commercial & industrial property sectors that will feed through as higher industry workload during 2014 and 2015. Civil engineering also remains a hot spot, due to increases in infrastructure and utilities work.

"In contrast, the strong growth in housing project starts seen during 2013 lost momentum over the three months to February. The extreme weather conditions experienced over the winter months appears to have hampered the opening of some new sites and we anticipate a rebound in project starts during the spring as conditions improve.

"Longer term recent events will generate additional repair work to flooded homes and business premises as well increased investment in flood defences."

The office sector saw a rapid rate of expansion, with project starts up by 52% compared to a year ago. And industrial project starts also grew, up 16% year-on-year as manufacturing output and investment into new capacity increased. Retail starts were just below levels seen a year ago.

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