The ONS has released its figures for new orders in the construction industry for Q3. Although these figures show that Q3 has increased by 5.4% against Q2 in 2012, they are still 6.7% lower than Q3 in 2011. To reinforce these depressing figures, the Markit/CIPS survey of construction activity reported that the construction industry contracted in the month of November, with a figure of 49.3 compared to October’s figure of 50.9.
The Nationwide House Price Index reported that in November the price of a typical house remained unchanged against October, meaning that house prices are now just 1.2% lower than a year ago. Also the Halifax House Price Index has reported that house prices in the three months to November were 0.7% lower than the previous 3 months, making the average house price in November 2012 almost identical to November 2011. These slightly positive figures came as George Osborne announced that economy and property growth predictions released in the autumn statement are downgraded compared to 2011.
On a more positive note, an announcement to come out of the autumn statement was a planned capital investment of £5 billion to stimulate construction growth over the next 3 years. This follows Nick Clegg’s pledge at the beginning of December that50,000 new homes will be built in 2013, as the government attempts to unblock stalled projects.
Finally I have not included comment on the Chancellor’s autumn statement as it has been well reported elsewhere. If you did miss it then it is available on the treasury website.