House building accelerates at its fastest pace for more than a decade

4th August 2014

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During July house building in the UK surged ahead at its fastest rate for more than a decade a new poll has suggested.

According to the Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), numbers for the month signalled the steepest rise in residential building activity since November 2003.

The survey cited favourable funding conditions and strong demand for new housing as the main drivers of the uptick.

The seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI, which also monitors commercial building activity and civil engineering registered 62.4 in July, down slightly from 62.6 in June but above the neutral 50 mark (above 50 represents growth) for the fifteenth successive month.

Overall housing activity remained by far the best performing construction category the survey said.

In addition, the report found that the latest expansion of overall construction activity was one of the fastest seen since the summer of 2007 and that the rate of job creation across the construction sector was the best since the survey began in April 1997.

Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit said: “July’s figures suggest the UK construction sector is enjoying its strongest cyclical upswing since the global financial crisis, while a new record rise in employment highlights that construction firms are increasingly confident about the sustainability of the upturn.

“All three core categories of construction activity saw historically steep improvements in output levels through July, unsurprisingly led by a resurgent house building sector.”

David Noble, group chief executive officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply added: “The industry as a whole continued its impressive growth, dipping slightly from last month’s high.

“One concern however, is the strain on supply chains that could become a roadblock to sustained growth in the future. Construction firms reported the sharpest deterioration in the quality of sub-contracted work since 1999, which combined with lengthening supplier delivery times could conspire to put the brakes on the sector’s growth.”

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