Construction output flatlines in July

In July 2016, construction output was estimated to have shown no growth compared with June 2016.

All new work increased by 0.5% while all repair and maintenance decreased by 1.1%. Compared with July 2015, construction output decreased by 1.5%. All new work, and repair and maintenance decreased by 0.6% and 3.2% respectively.

Private new housing is the main contributor for the overall trend in total housing, accounting for approximately 86% of all new housing. Private new housing reported a decrease in growth of 0.6% in July 2016 compared with June 2016, while public new housing fell by 1.6%.

However, private new housing increased by 8.3% compared with July 2015, while public new housing decreased by 8.6%. This was the 15th consecutive period of year-on-year decreases in public new housing.

“We’re not out of the woods yet. Despite the positive consumer data we’ve seen in the weeks and months since Brexit, it’s clear that construction output and housebuilding is flat-lining,” said Andrew Bridges, managing director of Stirling Ackroyd. “The Bank of England’s decision to halve interest rates has helped to balance the ship in the very short term, but it is still too early to say what the longer-term impact of June’s referendum will be on housebuilders, the property market and the wider economy.

“We must not allow Brexit to distract from the urgent need to build more homes, especially in London and the South East, which are both facing an intense housing shortage. The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement must give housebuilders the confidence to get on with tackling this fundamental issue in our society and extend opportunities for first time buyers, such as Help to Buy. As a former property developer, the industry will be expecting Phillip Hammond to step up to the plate and back housebuilders.”

However, the ONS have warned against over interpreting one month’s figures, saying there is very little anecdotal evidence to suggest that the referendum has had an impact on output.

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