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Construction set for 7 per cent growth

A seven per cent increase in project starts over the next 12 months, has been predicted by industry analysts Glenigan

Construction growth was originally forecast at four per cent at the beginning of the year - but rising private sector investment and improved consumer confidence has resulted in an upturn in the industry.

The value of projects starting on site during the first half of 2014 was up by ten per cent, mainly driven by increases in private housing, industrial and commercial projects.

Despite construction growth slowing during the three months up to July, Glenigan has predicted work will pick up across all sectors to the end of 2014.

Private housing is set to see a rise of 14 per cent and industrial projects 28 per cent, while the value of office starts is to rise by nine per cent.

The fastest growth has been London, with the value of projects starts in the capital rising by 21 per cent, but this is predicted to spread out across the regions. Central and northern England is expected to see the strongest growth in the coming year, as the rise in housing market turnover and mortgage availability spur private housing development.

However, forecasts for Northern Ireland expect project starts to drop, while Scotland could also struggle, as political uncertainties prompt delay in investment decision until after the independence referendum.

Commenting on the figures, Allan Wilén, economics director at Glenigan, said: ‘Renewed consumer confidence and the accompanying revival in the general housing market have emerged as key growth drivers for both construction activity and the wider economy.’

He added: ‘The pre-construction pipeline also remains firm. Having grown by 19 per cent over the last two years, the value of projects securing detailed planning approval during the first six months of 2014 was unchanged on a year ago, supported in particular by strong growth in private housing projects.

‘We expect rising private sector investment and improved consumer confidence to underpin further growth in both detailed planning approvals and project starts during the second half of 2014.’

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