The ONS released its figures for New Orders in the Construction Industry Q1 2013 earlier this month, these figures show that new orders were10% lower in Q1 2013 than the previous quarter, and 0.2% lower than Q1 2012. New housing fared best with a 0.4% increase in the private housing sector. No doubt helped by the Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme, which the Home Builders Federation said got off to a very good start, with 4000 people reserving homes through the scheme since its launch on 1 April. Housing output is expected to increase significantly with 400 builders now registered with the scheme across the UK. However The British Chambers of Commerce said the Help to Buy scheme should have been accompanied by a house building programme, which would increase its effectiveness and avoid sharp increases in house prices.

The Nationwide House Price Index has reported that house prices rose by just 0.4% in May, bringing them 1.1% higher than in May 2012. The Halifax House Price Index also shows that house prices increased by 0.4% in May, also showing that in the 3 months to May house prices were 1.5% higher than the preceding 3 months.

However some contractors are still feeling the pain, Willmott Dixon has announced a fall in 2012 pre-tax profit of 26%, describing it as the toughest year throughout the current economic cycle. Unfortunately the Green Deal has still to deliver on the government’s promises of increased work for the industry, with Enact Energy going into administration with suggestions that this was due to delays in the role-out of the programme.

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