Construction contract awards continued the downward trend of recent years in 2019, as Brexit uncertainty and HS2 doubts consume the industry, according to Barbour ABI
The latest construction market review has revealed the value of all construction contract awards in 2019 was £59.9bn, this represents an increase of 0.2% on 2018, which in turn was 15.7% lower than 2017.
The latest edition of the Economic & Construction Market Review from industry analysts Barbour ABI revealed the number of contract awards continued the downward trend exhibited in recent years with awards falling to 9,580. This is a decrease of 7.3% on 2018 and is also 23.0% lower than 2014 when the number of contract awards peaked at 12,447.
Whilst contract awards values have levelled off in 2019, the value of £59.9bn is approximately 20.3% lower than the peak of £75.1bn achieved in 2015.
The residential sector maintains its position as the leading sector in 2019, accounting for 38.4% of all construction contract awards, which is 0.3% higher than in 2018. The leading residential contract awarded during the year was the Nine Elms Parkside Plots B & D at Wandsworth in London, valued at £276.4m.
The second-largest sector in 2019 was infrastructure which had a 17.3% share of all contracts awarded. However, this is 2.0% lower than in 2018. The largest overall infrastructure project awarded during 2019 was the £1.5bn Sellafield SRP Process Facility.
The sector accounting for the third-largest share of contracts awarded in 2019 was commercial & retail with share of 12.7%, which is 0.5% lower than for 2018. The largest office award was the £400m Paddington Square – Paddington Cube in London.
Uncertainty throughout the industry
Tom Hall, chief economist at Barbour ABI and AMA Research said: “As we saw throughout 2019, development figures flatlined and a yearly round-up shows similar levels to 2018.
“With the date for the UK to leave the EU less than two weeks away and the future of HS2 hanging in the balance, uncertainty continues to engulf the construction industry.”