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Social housing starts boom 48% in Q4

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Social housing starts increased by almost a half in the final quarter of last year

The surprise boost came as overall UK construction starts increased nine per cent in the three months to December.

The ailing social housing sector’s turnaround was fuelled by unusually high levels of refurbishment and maintenance work.

Fresh data from industry monitor Glenigan also revealed private housing starts were 20 per cent up compared with the same period last year.

Hotel and leisure was the strongest performing sector, skyrocketing 70per cent in 2012’s final three months following decline over the summer.

Glenigan economist Andrew Whiffin said: ‘The run-up to the new year has been awash with activity in the hotels and leisure sector, we have not only seen a number of large high profile projects begin in recent months but the flow of repair and maintenance has also boosted underlying work in the final months of the year.

He added: ‘A number of projects such as those related to the construction of the new Centre Parcs at Woburn have in the past few months helped push starts for the sector into growth for the full year.’

Public sector work continued to fare badly with education starts down 22 per cent and healthcare starts falling 21 per cent.

New school projects and other measures announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement are expected to benefit the education sector in the coming year.

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