Construction project starts are down 10 per cent, but civil engineering project starts for the three months to November are up by 61 per cent, according to the latest Glenigan Index.
A 24 per cent fall in residential construction project starts was a key factor towards to the overall drop said James Abraham, economist, Glenigan. He said: 'Private housing starts fell 13 per cent but are forecast to stabilise over the coming months. However, social housing declined 38 per cent year on year and further retrenchment is forecast here as the cut backs in Government funding bite.'
Non-Residential project starts were also 13 per cent down on a year ago as both privately and publicly funded projects were thin on the ground. 'Education construction remains weak and the value of health and community and amenity projects declined for the first time in the second half of 2011. The only non-residential sector to avoid a decline was retail, buoyed by a number of large extension and refurbishment projects' said Mr Abraham.
Civil engineering project starts for the three months to November were however up by 61 per cent. Mr Abraham added: 'The flow of civil engineering projects can be volatile. Utilities saw a sharp increase with project starts including the decommissioning of a nuclear power plant and new wind turbine projects, while the infrastructure sector saw investments in road and rail station projects in London, the West Midlands and Scotland.'
The Glenigan report also found that Wales, the South East and South West of England have all been enjoying an increased flow of new work while Scotland saw year on year growth of 10 per cent. By contrast, over the three months to November the underlying value of project starts in Northern Ireland, the East and North West of England fell by more than 20 per cent and Yorkshire continues to endure a poor flow of projects reaching start on site.