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Housebuilding construction slumps in April, statistics suggest

Words: Laura Edgar
Housebuilding / iStock

New construction contracts values reached £4.9 billion in April, down 6.8 per cent when compared with March, according to recent statistics.

The decline, explained industry analyst Barbour ABI, coincides with a housebuilding slump that saw a drop of 15.3 per cent compared with March, and a “wavering” infrastructure sector that has performed poorly in 2018.

The organisation’s latest Economic & Construction Market Review list the top project for April as the M1 Junction 16-13 Smart Motorway upgrade, valued at £349 million.

The largest residential contract awarded was the Coruna Aldershot Urban Extension – Zone B, Parcels B3 & B4, valued at £90 million.

Medical and health construction saw its highest monthly value for projects for more than two years at £229 million. Hotel, leisure and sport construction posted increases for the third month in a row, while commercial and retail, and education saw declines, down 10 per cent and 9.3 per cent respectively.

Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said: “April is a reminder for the industry that when both infrastructure and in particular housebuilding falter, construction figures will by far and large decrease. Other sectors had more of a successful month, such as medical and health construction, however due to the scale and size of infrastructure and housing construction, it’s an overwhelming task for other segments of the industry to make up the sizeable difference.”

April’s Economic & Construction Market Review can be found on the Barbour ABI website (pdf).