North-west construction market hots up giving Brexit the cold shoulder

New findings from professional services firm Turner & Townsend confirm that in contrast to London, where construction output declined by 5.7% impacted by Brexit uncertainty, the north-west is up by 30.7%.

Looking at the period from the second quarter of 2016 before the EU Referendum up until the end of 2017, Turner & Townsend’s UK Market Intelligence report highlights regional variations in building output, and the figures indicate that the north-west is benefiting from increased independence and autonomy with moves towards devolution.

The West Midlands’ construction output also recorded a rise of an impressive 27.8%, with the south-west achieving 27.2% growth. Increases across these areas reflects high demand for new housing and a lack of contractor supply triggering a hike in tender prices with single-stage tendering going up by more than 10%.

A buoyant market

Turner & Townsend’s director Paul Connolly said: “Market uncertainty continues to affect the construction industry. Data recording the latest output in several regions suggests early signs of a correlation between regional autonomy and resilience to the impact of an uncertain political future embodied by Brexit. Despite a slowdown in the office sector, the residential and infrastructure markets in London remain very buoyant, demonstrating the nuances of the capital’s market.
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“We are seeing signs that contractors are more confident about taking on greater commercial and schedule risk. This is demonstrated by a decline of 5% for projects offered on a two stage tender basis standing at 36.5%, compared to 27.4% a of single stage tendering, up 10% in the first three months of 2016.”

Throughout 2018, tender prices are predicted to make minimal gains with a 1.7% increase forecast for London, 2.3% in the West Midlands, 2.2% in the north-west, and 2.1% across the south-west.

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