Construction activity surging in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds, says Deloitte


Construction activity is surging in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds, according to the latest crane surveys from Deloitte

Manchester is “one of Europe’s fastest-growing cities” with over 11,000 residential units under construction across 41 developments – up 60% on the previous year.

Work started on 32 new schemes in 2017, including six office developments totalling 1.5m sq ft.

A further 62,557 sq ft of retail and leisure space was delivered, representing a four-fold increase on the previous year.

Birmingham, meanwhile, has entered “a new era of redevelopment and repurposing” with record levels of construction activity across the city centre on the back of high developer confidence in the wake of H2, the forthcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games and the promise of Devo 2.

Over 4,000 residential units are under construction and office developments have topped 1.4m sq ft for the second consecutive year.

There were 1,365 student bed spaces under construction, up by a third on the previous 12 months.

In addition, 334 hotel bed spaces were completed, the highest volume since 2013.

A total of 17 schemes had been completed since the previous survey.

The Leeds crane survey highlighted a “long-awaited resurgence” in residential development in the city centre, with 1,586 units under construction, the highest figure since 2008. Developer confidence is expected to strength through 2018 and beyond.

The city centre economy is healthy, with improved job opportunities supported by a significant increase in office space under construction from 460,690 sq ft to 771,331 sq ft – to the highest volume in a decade.

The survey shows 16 new schemes had started in the last year, above the annual average of 13.

2017 also saw the highest number of hotel bedrooms – 385 – deliver in the survey’s history.

Commenting on the picture across the regions, Simon Bedford, partner and regional head at Deloitte Real Estate, said: “Residential development stands out this year. The surveyed cities have shown a marked increase in housing development, in some cases doubling activity from the previous year.

“Our UK crane survey data shows a collective total of nearly 17,000 residential units currently under construction in these cities, ensuring housing targets are being taken seriously and developers are striving to meet demand.”


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