Construction Industry Recovers From Coronavirus, Buildings COVID-19 Guide

Construction Industry Recovering From COVID19

12 Nov 2020

Construction Industry Output Recovery

New Construction Output Figures Show Continuing Recovery: Industry Comment

Commenting on the new construction output figures published by the ONS today which show the construction sector maintaining its recovery with growth of 2.9% in September, Clive Docwra, Managing Director of construction consultancy and design agency McBains, said:

“Today’s figures show the construction sector is continuing to recover from the impact of the Spring lockdown, but this growth still needs to be seen in context, with output still more than 7 per cent below that in February.

“Only private new housing and infrastructure work have returned to pre-pandemic levels of output. Commercial sector work has been affected by the changing nature of working arrangements during the pandemic and whether this will translate into longer-term change such as decline in office development. That said, there is an increasing expectation that the shape of offices will change so we expect to see an uptake in this area in due course, reflecting demand for alternative fit-outs that meet new ways of working.

“Whilst the second lockdown will have less impact on the construction industry, it will still take time to fully recover from the Spring lockdown and it needs the workforce to do this. Figures published earlier this week show that the number of people employed in construction is at a seven-year low – and Brexit will only mean a further pinch on employment levels as the skilled foreign workforce supply is reduced.”

9 Oct 2020

Construction Industry Output Figures

New Construction Output Figures Show Slowdown In Growth: Industry Comment

Commenting on the new construction output figures published by the ONS today (Friday 9 October) which show a slowdown in output, Clive Docwra, Managing Director of property and construction agency McBains, said:

“The construction industry will welcome these figures which show a fourth consecutive month of growth since the record low of April. But after construction output picked up significantly in June and July, today’s figures – which show growth slowing to 3% – bear out just how shaky the foundations are for the industry at the current time.

“Output still remains well below its pre-pandemic levels and although private new housing work showed strong growth, new industrial and commercial work is still declining.

“The unpredictability around further lockdowns is causing private commercial investors to remain cautious of committing to new developments. The government needs to ramp up its public infrastructure programme and speed up procurement to help tide the sector over while this fragility persists.”

11 Sep 2020

Construction Industry Continuing To Recover From COVID19

New Figures Show Construction Industry Continuing To Recover From Covid-19 – But Output Below Pre-pandemic Levels: Industry Comment

Commenting on the new construction output figures published by the ONS which show a third successive month of growth, Clive Docwra, Managing Director of leading construction consulting and design agency McBains, said:

“Today’s figures will be welcomed by the construction sector as a sign of its continuing recovery, but in reality they need to be viewed in the context of an industry that experienced a record 40% drop in output at the height of the coronavirus lockdown.

“Construction is still a long way from being out of the woods and the upturn is extremely fragile, reflected by the fact the figures show that new work decreased by 9.7% in the three months to July 2020, with private new housing work alone falling by 17.0%.

“The big concern for the industry is if there’s a second spike and a further lockdown. The government needs to do all it can to ensure the sector maintains its recovery.

“On top of this, of course, a potential no deal at the end of the Brexit transition period is making investors nervous about committing to new projects.  The Prime Minister may want the industry to ‘build, build, build’ but that’s difficult when many investors are saying ‘wait, wait, wait’ and holding off embarking on new developments until there’s greater clarity.”

  1. The new construction output figures published today show:
  • Monthly construction output grew by 17.6% in July 2020, following the record monthly growth of 23.5% in June 2020; the level of construction output in July 2020 was 11.6% below the February 2020 level.
  • Construction output fell by 10.6% in the three months to July 2020, compared with the previous three-month period; this was driven by falls in both new work (9.7%) and repair and maintenance (12.4%).
  • The decrease in new work (9.7%) in the three months to July 2020 was because of falls in every new work sector, apart from infrastructure, which grew by 6.0%; the largest negative contributor was private new housing, which fell by 17.0%.
  • The decrease in repair and maintenance (12.4%) in the three months to July 2020 was because of falls in all repair and maintenance sectors; the largest contributor was private housing repair and maintenance, which fell by 17.9%.

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