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ONS figures show flat growth of new work in June 2019

Construction output reportedly fell in the second quarter of 2019, ranging between the months of April and June, by 1.3% with this figure being a result of declines in repair and maintenance work, measuring at a proportion of 2.6%; whereas, on a monthly basis, June 2019 experienced a decrease of 0.7% as a consequence of a 2.0% decline in repair and maintenance and flat growth in new work.

This quarterly downturn has, in effect, counteracted the 1.4% uplift in the first quarter and is a direct result of the 6.0% decrease in private housing repair and maintenance, with some lesser contributions felt from the 0.9% fall in non-housing repair and maintenance.

Furthermore, new work decreased during the quarter by a figure of 0.5%, being fuelled by corresponding declines in both public other new work and private new housing. Adding to this, public other new work endured a decrease of 10.9%, its largest quarter-on-quarter decline since quarterly records began.

Regarding the flat growth rate, in the month of June alone, this was a product of a slight, 1.9%, increase in private commercial new work alongside a more substantial, 7.1%, increase in public new housing being counteracted by decreases in private industrial new work (11.2%) and private new housing (1.2%).

In addition to this, the decline which was recently experienced in private industrial new work comes after May experienced a month of 12.3% growth, meaning that the progress made has been reversed to bring the series back to just below the level seen in April 2019.

The Chief Operating Officer at Redrow, Matthew Pratt commented: “This is disappointing, but we should see the uplift in year-on-year new work figures as a positive, indicating a continued appetite for new homes which housebuilders are rising up to meet.

“Over the last few years, the UK housing market has come face-to-face with a number of challenges as a result of government policy and economic uncertainty, from reforms to stamp duty to confusion on how Brexit will further impede on our current skills shortage.”

And lastly, public other new work saw a slight increase of 1.1% while infrastructure fell by 0.6%.

The Brick Development Association’s Tom Farmer added: “In a time where construction output is starting to be affected by uncertainty it is good to see housebuilding remaining buoyant.”

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