There was a sharp fall in contract awards and project starts in the three months to August, according to Glenigan’s latest Construction Review.
Main contract awards averaged a total £7.69bn per month – a 37 per cent decline compared with the preceding three-month period and 27 per cent lower than the same time a year ago.
Work commencing on site during the three months to August experienced a “weak performance”, averaging £7.65bn per month, a decrease of 14 per cent against the preceding three months and 22 per cent lower than a year ago.
Residential and private housing starts increased during the three months to August but weakened compared with the previous year. Social housing work starting on site performed poorly, falling 19 pre cent against the preceding three months and the previous year.
Industrial project starts also experienced a poor period, with the value of starts decreasing 17 per cent during the three months to August and 45 per cent lower than a year ago. Hotel and leisure project starts decreased by 38 per cent against the preceding three months and previous year. Offices, education and community and amenity and utilities followed a similar trend.
Health starts experienced a mixed period, increasing 8 per cent against the preceding three months but falling 7 per cent below 2022 levels. Retail followed a similar trend, with the value of project starts increasing 33 per cent against the preceding three months but dropping 24 per cent against the previous year.
Civil engineering work starting on site also increased 3 per cent against the preceding three months to stand 29 per cent down on a year ago. Infrastructure starts drove some growth during the period, increasing 15 per cent against the preceding three months but was 33 per cent down on the previous year.
According to the review, most areas of the UK saw a weakening in project starts during the period, although Northern Ireland saw an increase of 23 per cent against the preceding three months and was the only region to experience an increase in the value of starts against the previous year, at 80 per cent.
Glenigan economics director Allan Wilen said: “The further weakening in construction starts during the three months to August is disappointing. However, there are some signs that conditions are stabilising, with the value of residential starts up 6 per cent and the value of civil engineering starts up 3 per cent.”
More positively, detailed planning approvals experienced a “strong performance” when compared with 2022 levels.