UK construction hotspots
According to the most recent UK Market Intelligence report, construction markets in the North West, West Midlands and South West have seen the biggest increase in output.
This is despite Brexit uncertainty as regions seem to be benefiting from devolution deals and greater autonomy.
From the period directly before the EU Referendum through to the end of 2017, the report shows an increase of 30.7% in the North West, 27.8% in the West Midlands and 27.2% in the South West. It is thought that high demand and insufficient contractor supply has pushed up tender prices in these areas. Conversely, construction output in London fell by 5.7%.
According to Deloitte’s latest crane survey, more than 1.5m sq ft of office space is now under construction in central Manchester.
Retail construction has also grown significantly in the city. 63,000 sq ft was delivered in 2017 and the current level of retail space under construction has doubled since 2016.
Earlier this year, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the West Midlands area would receive £350m to spend on housing development and the region wants to build 215,000 homes by 2031.
West Midlands councils also brought around £10bn of major construction projects to the market, including the complete redevelopment of land around new High Speed 2 stations.
Bristol’s commercial property market is also thriving. There have been two record years of take-up in the last three in the city, with the Bristol office market continuing to perform solidly in the second quarter of 2017, increasing the amount of deals completed.
It’s clear that construction opportunities are linked to the regional landscape which means contractors will have to be able to move into the most desirable areas in order to achieve success. The above mentioned areas are helping to counter what some people are calling a “construction malaise” across the UK as a whole.