Housebuilding Activity Sees Construction Growth Hit 17-Month High In May

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Housebuilding Activity Sees Construction Growth Hit 17-Month High In May

Last month (May) saw construction growth in the UK reach a 17-month high, with an accelerated hike in residential work helping to support activity for the month overall. A seven-month low was seen in the housing sub-category in March but this has now rebounded strongly, while the latest rise in residential building was the fastest recorded since December 2015.

This is according to the latest IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI, which has revealed that residential work has now replaced civil engineering as the best performing category. And although commercial building was still the weakest performing sub-category, its latest increase in activity was the fastest it’s been since March last year.

Senior economist at HIS Markit and author of the report Tim Moore said: “House building was the key growth driver, with work on residential projects rising at the fastest pace since December 2015. A sustained rebound in residential building provides an encouraging sign that the recent a soft patch for property values has not deterred new housing supply. Instead, strong labour market conditions, resilient demand and ultra-low mortgage rates appear to have helped boost work on residential development projects in May.”

At the start of May, the sharpest increase in total construction output in 2017 was recorded, with civil engineering expanding at its fastest pace for 13 months. More new work helped to stimulate further job creation across the sector for April, with the employment growth rate the strongest since May last year.

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