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Huge profits and high value contracts signify strength of UK housebuilding - report

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Huge profits and high value contracts signify strength of UK housebuilding - report

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing

Huge profits and high value contracts signify strength of UK housebuilding - report Huge profits and high value contracts signify strength of UK housebuilding - report

Housebuilding accounted for more than a third of all UK contracts awarded by value in February, totalling more than £1.83 billion – a significant increase of 72% on the same month last year.

The latest figures, taken from Barbour ABI’s Economic & Construction Market Review, also reveal that London is still the country’s housebuilding capital, with 17.5% of all residential construction contracts located in the city.

Key projects include phase one of the development at ‘One Woolwich’ worth £35 million, the £25m transformation of 60 Commercial Road near London Metropolitan University into student accommodation and the West Hampstead private residential scheme valued at £25m.

Trading updates from most the UK’s major housebuilders reflect the residential construction sector’s resurgence over the past 12 months. Bovis and Taylor Wimpey both posted full-year profit increases of 39%, Persimmon is up 49% and Barratt Homes has reported a 162% increase in profit for the six months to the end of December 2013.

Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, commented: “As expected, the residential construction sector experienced year-on-year growth for a third consecutive month in February. Importantly, the number of units associated with residential contracts awarded increased by 1.8% on January and were 51.5% higher than February 2013, confirming the scale of the upturn in the market over the last year.

“It’s clear that stimulus packages such as help to buy are having a significant and sustained impact on house building, with strong evidence of increased profits across the industry. The Chancellor’s commitment to providing a further £500m of finance to small house builders, as well as £150m to help people build their own homes, will also be widely welcomed by the construction industry.

“However, there are still concerns that these prolonged initiatives will drive up house prices and make homes in some places, particularly London, unaffordable for first-time buyers looking to get onto the property ladder.”

The Economic & Construction Market Review is compiled from Barbour ABI’s records of construction data for every UK planning application, and key indicators, such as the Office for National Statistics’ Construction New Orders data.

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