The ONS have released their Output in the Construction Industry figures for May 2015. These show that in May 2015, output decreased by 1.3% compared with April 2015. With repair and maintenance decreasing by 1.0%, made up of falls in non- housing R&M of 1.9% and private housing R&M of 0.8%. These decreases are slightly offset by an increase in public housing R&M of 1.8%. New work also showed a decreased of 1.5%, with all types of new work except infrastructure, with the largest reported fall being total housing, decreasing by 5.8%.
In contrast the Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI shows construction output growth rebounding to its fastest for four months in June 2015. The index registered 58.1 for June 2015, up from 55.9 in May 2015. This is the fastest increase in overall construction activity since February 2015 and a huge rebound from the 22-month low of 54.2 recorded in April 2015.
The Construction Products Association published its latest State of the Trade Survey for Q2 2015. The survey indicates that construction product manufacturers’ sales increased for the 9th consecutive quarter, this is driven by growth in all of the key areas of UK construction and a rise in export demand. The CPA say that with construction recovery broadening beyond private housing, increasing demand for construction products has led to a sustained period of growth among manufacturers.
The chancellor announced the Summer 2015 budget at the start of the month. This budget appears to have minimal effect on construction, but it could have a positive impact on future confidence and productivity in the industry but there are concerns that policies were lacking for incentivising home energy efficiency. An infographic of the budget is also available.
With the summer budget the chancellor hopes to address the productivity puzzle. The ONS have released a visual guide what is the productivity Puzzle? They explain what has happened to productivity and the trends since the economic downturn, also how UK productivity compares to other countries.
The Department for Communities and Local Government have published a Statistical Release for Housing, which shows all the latest figures for the Right to Buy scheme, including information for the sales, receipts and starts for local authorities through the Scheme. With a quarter of a million homes granted planning permission, the DCLG say the latest figures show that the number of homes granted planning permission is now higher than before the 2008 economic crash. This is set to be assisted with reforms to planning to grant quicker housing approvals for brownfield land.
The ONS have released House Price Statistics for Small Areas in England and Wales 1995 to 2014, this covers statistics on median house prices and sales for local authority regions across the UK. The report shows that in 2014 the region with the largest median house prices was Kensington and Chelsea and the lowest house price was Blaenau Gwent.
The Nationwide House Price Index reports that in June 2015 house prices fell by 0.2%, with annual house price growth slowing to 3.3% down from 4.6% in May 2015. However the Halifax House Price Index reports that in May 2015 prices increased by 1.7%, making it the fourth consecutive monthly rise.
Housebuilder Barratt have released a trading update stating that they expect their pre-tax profit to increase by 45% to £565m, when their annual results are announced in September, this is up from £390.6m in 2014.
Bovis Homes have also released a trading update ahead of its half year results due in August 2015. The update states they are expected to increase their interim dividend for 2015 by 14% to 13.7p per share compared to 12.0p per share in 2014. This increase comes as they announce a record half year for volume of completed new homes.
Finally The Construction Enquirer have reported that construction costs in London have soared to become the second highest in the world after New York, and are set to rise another 5%, with a 4% increase in the south and 3% increase in the north of England.