The Construction Products Association has released its latest Construction Trade Survey. This survey shows that in Q4 2013 Construction activity rose by a substantial amount, making it the first time in 5 years the industry has seen growth over 3 consecutive quarters. In contrast to this GDP figures released by the ONS show the UK economy grew by 0.7% in Q4 2013, but construction declined by 0.3% in the same quarter.

To further re-enforce the recovery of the construction industry, Markit/CIPS released their PMI data for January. The Construction Purchasing Managers Index showed the sharpest rise in construction output since August 2007, reporting that the PMI was 64.6 in January 2014 having increased from 62.1 in December 2013. This remains above the neutral value of 50.0 for the 9th consecutive month.

The Nationwide House price Index has reported that house prices increased by 0.7% in January 2014, making them 8.8% higher than in January 2013. However house prices are still 4% below the peak of 2007. Also reported is that London is still leading annual price growth, reaching nearly 14% in Q4 2013, with the North remaining the poorest performing region for growth.

The Halifax House Price Index reported that house prices increased by 1.1% in January 2014 following a fall of 0.5% in December 2013. Also they reported that house prices in the 3 months to January 2014 were 7.3% higher than the same 3 months a year earlier.

With the housing industry showing signs of recovery at the end of 2013, Barratt Homes released a trading update ahead of their interim results announcement later this month. They have announced that during the 6 month period ending 31 December 2013 they saw a rise in total housing completions of 19.3%, compared to the previous year. They also say that the governments Help to Buy Scheme has had, and continues to have a positive impact on demand for new homes with 29% of their total completions having utilised this scheme.

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