The ONS has released figures for New Orders in the Construction Industry. These figures show that in Q4 of 2012 total volume of new orders in the construction industry increased by 3.4%, compared with Q3 of 2012, this applied to all sectors with the exception of Infrastructure. The ONS also released their Outputin the Construction Industry figures for January 2013. These show that the total volume of output in January 2013 was 7.9% lower than in January 2012, and fell by 6.3% compared to December 2012.

The Home Builders Federation’s latest Housing Pipeline report stated that local authorities granted approvals for 45,041 new homes across England in Q4 of last year, up 62% year on year and 33% up on the previous quarter. They also said that the Government-backed NewBuy scheme has doubled last year’s average, resulting in a current cumulative total of more than 3700 reservations. Further government stimulus has been announced in the form of a £225 million fund to help unlock stalled sites.

Against the background of rising house prices, five large house builders have announced increases in pre-tax profit. Barratt Homes have announced interim results for the six months ending 31 December 2012, which shows they have increased their pre-tax profits by 113%. Bovis Homes released preliminary results for the year ending 31 December 2012, which show increased pre-tax profits of 69%. Redrow PLC also announced their interim results for the six months ending 31 December 2012, showing a 50% increase in pre-tax profit. And Persimmon has announced their final results for 2012 which shows a 52% increase in their pre-tax profit.

The Miller Group has also released their results for the year to the 31st December 2012, which shows a 40% increase in their pre-tax profit. On the back of this they have predicted a double digit percentage increase in revenue during 2013.

This indicates that the housing market is the strongest is has been since the start of the recession and is showing signs of improving, at least for the larger house builders.

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