In our presentation, 2016 Construction Markets – a year in review, we look back at the highs and lows of 2016. Including how the UK construction market reacted to the EU referendum and the budget statement. The NBS have also written a review of construction in 2016, explaining how uncertainty has been the underlying theme and what construction can expect heading into 2017.

The Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI December report shows a positive end to 2016, which is led by the fastest rise in new order volumes since January 2016. The Index registered 54.2 in December 2016 an increase from 52.8 in October 2016, signalling a robust and accelerated expansion of overall construction output. Complementing this, the Construction Products Association’s latest State of Trade Survey shows that sales by the UK construction products manufacturing sector climbed for the 15th consecutive quarter in Q4 2016, achieving continuing growth going into 2017.

In contrast, The ONS have released their Construction Output in Great Britain: November 2016 figures, showing that construction output fell by 0.2% compared to October 2016, with repair and maintenance showing the largest downward pressure on this figure. Alongside this the Glenigan Index for November 2016 reports that the values of project starts in the 3 months to November were 7.0% lower than the previous year but 4.0% greater than the previous 3 months in 2016. The latest figures from the Barbour ABI Economic & Construction Market Review show that in November 2016 all contract activity decreased by 7.8% compared to October 2016, and is 30.1% lower that the value recorded for November 2015.

The National Infrastructure Pipeline and Government Construction Pipeline have now been combined into a single publication. This sets out plans for over £500bn of public and private investment in Britain’s economic and social infrastructure, including the announcements made in the 2016 Autumn Statement. Alongside this a new organisation has been created to provide expertise, knowledge and skills to manage and deliver the government’s major economic projects.  The Infrastructure and Projects Authority brings together two existing bodies, Infrastructure UK and the Major Projects Authority, which puts financing, delivery and assurance of projects all under one roof for the first time. Read more in 2017 to be the year of infrastructure.

Housing providers are now able to apply for part of the government’s £7bn affordable housing fund. This has been opened up by Communities secretary Sajid Javid, as part of the government’s incentive for more housing to be built, including a variety of homes such as Affordable Rent, Shared Ownership and Rent to Buy.  The NHBC have released their latest home registration statistics showing that, 12,169 new homes were registered to be built in October 2016, compared to the 16,404 registered 12 months earlier. How to deliver capacity in house building is being considered by the Communities and Local Government Committee as part of an extensive inquiry. It is well worth anyone new to the industry spending two hours watching the video on the recent evidence.

Fourteen sites across England have been proposed for garden villages. The villages could provide 48,000 homes. Larger garden towns in Buckinghamshire, Somerset and the Essex-Hertfordshire border have also been approved. To learn more read about delivering sustainable housing stock in our other item.

The ONS House Price Index reports that house prices increased by 6.9% for the year to October 2016, down 7.0% on the year to September 2016. The Halifax House Price Index reports December 2016 house prices increased by 0.5% compared to November, with annual house price growth of 6.5%. However the Nationwide House Price Index reports that in December 2016 house prices were just 0.8% higher than November and annual house price growth ended 2016 at 4.5%, the same as 2015.

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