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Construction enjoys ‘Indian summer’ of record output as housebuilding booms

Housing increase
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Construction output has reached its highest point this decade, with housebuilding playing a key role, according to new official figures

New data from the Office for National Statistics showes that a seasonally adjusted £14 billion-worth of work was carried out by the industry in September this year – the most since monthly records began in January 2010.

Almost £5 billion of this was new residential work, with private housebuilding up 10 per cent from the same month a year earlier, and public-sector housebuilding growing by 11 per cent over the same period.

Overall construction work grew by 1.7 per cent from August and by 3 per cent year-on-year.

The third quarter of 2018 saw 2.1 per cent more construction work taking place than in the previous three months.

Blane Perrotton, managing director of surveyors Naismiths said the industry had enjoyed an ‘Indian summer’.

He said: ‘True, the surge in output in the third quarter is flattered by comparison with the grim decline of the first quarter and the plodding indifference of the second. But this is real, and welcome, progress.’

‘Housebuilding retains its crown as both poster child and get-out-of-jail card for the industry as a whole. Elsewhere the growth was patchy at best.

‘Despite a marked improvement in the Brexit mood music this week, months of deadlocked negotiations have choked investor appetite. Unless and until the political limbo is ended, the industry will continue its holding pattern of two steps forward and one step back.’

Ministers this summer pledged almost £2 billion of support to unlock sites for new homes. The government said it was committed to building more and better homes faster.

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