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More greenshoots? Number of shelved project drops again

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The total number of UK projects on hold dropped by almost half in December – the second month in a row that the amount of mothballed schemes has fallen

According to industry tracker Glenigan, just 335 projects were shelved last month, compared to 588 in November and 694 in October.

The monthly figure is the lowest since August 2008 (321 schemes on ice) and suggests significantly increasing optimism from developers and clients – especially in commercial circles.

All 12 sectors monitored by Glenigan, saw the number of projects on hold drop but private housing, offices and industrial experienced by far the greatest fall in the number of projects on hold.

Newly-stalled private housing projects in the UK fell to just 132 in December 2009 – compared to 265 in December 2008.

Gene Kohn, chairman of KPF, said he was finding developers increasingly upbeat. ‘There are little signs that things are getting better,’ Kohn commented. ‘I’m an optimist… and I think the office [sector] is showing the most potential.’

Gordon Tero, director at Stride Treglown, agreed with Kohn that there is a higher level of optimism in the market. ‘House builders are more active in both private and social,’ said Tero.

‘Serious enquiries are picking up. We had a shopping centre project on hold and that has now come back…Private residence is definitely coming back and office is more sturdy. We are looking at real bids with developers.’

Allan Wilen, Glenigan’s economic director, said: ‘The number of projects reported as being shelved fell sharply during the month. Whilst this is in part due to the seasonal factors, it also follows a drop in shelved projects during November. Indeed 11 per cent fewer projects were shelved during the final quarter of 2008 than a year earlier and 32 percent fewer than at the peak seen during the first quarter of 2009.’ 

Number of projects shelved, by sector

Private housing228132
Social housing3913
Source: Glenigan
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