Construction contract awards climb by 4.1% in October

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Construction contract awards,
© Srdjan Randjelovic

Construction contract awards increased in October by 4.1% to £4.9bn compared with the previous month, as the residential sector takes the lion’s share of awards

Based on a three-month rolling average, construction contract awards experienced a boost in October, with an increase of 28.5% when compared with October 2018.

The latest edition of the Economic & Construction Market Review from industry analysts Barbour ABI, reveals the number of contract awards increased by 22.4% in October to 864 which is also 4.0% higher than for October 2018.

Although construction contract awards numbers have increased in October, they remain turbulent with evidence of a downward trend for overall contract awards since January 2019. In the three-month period ending October 2019, the total value of contract awards was £14.5bn, which is 14.0% lower than the previous quarter and 14.4% lower than for the comparable quarter ending October 2018.

The residential sector accounted for 28% of all contract awards, closely followed by the industrial sector with a 22% share. The total contract awards value for the residential sector was £1.7bn which is a reduction of 9.5% on September and is 12.5% lower than for October 2018. However, industrial contract awards values have increased by 39.9% on September with a total value of £735m.

The largest value construction contract award for October 2019 was the Fawley Refinery Upgrades in Southampton – valued at £800m, substantially boosting the figures for the industrial sector.

Commenting on the figures, Tom Hall, chief economist at Barbour ABI and AMA Research, said: “The residential sector has experienced slightly slower activity throughout 2019, there has been a small pick up in London, but data shows that there is a cooling off in activity throughout the rest of the UK. The most recent help to buy data shows reduced volumes which would also support this view.”

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