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Is the construction sector building confidence?
So 'Build build build!' is the cry from Boris Johnson as he sets out his 'new deal' on infrastructure to boost the UK economy, but what is the current state of the UK buildings market?
The Coronavirus pandemic undoubtedly had a huge impact on the Buildings and Construction sector, with the lowest slump in over two decades being recorded in April, according to the IHS Markit/CIPS construction activity index.
As the UK Government announces more investment programmes and more restrictions are beginning to unlock, are brighter times ahead?
Matchtech’s MD of Buildings & Infrastructure, John Dunaway, discusses the state of the market in his 3 minute market update.
Watch the video to find out more, or read some of the highlights below.
On front line buildings work
“We anticipated a surge in repurposing and refits of working environments to adapt to the COVID secure measurements and restrictions, [but] we haven’t seen the growth that perhaps was predicted.”
“That said, the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) have said that builders were the stars of the UK economy in June, with the fastest rise in purchasing activity for almost five years.”
“Perhaps this is an output of the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) which was rolled out by Rishi Sunak in April to provide financial support for self-employed workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The scheme offered 80% of monthly trading profits for three months capped at about £7,500. Surprisingly, only 2.6m people out of 3.5m have applied for the first grant, but fortunately this has been extended to October.”
“And on the front line, more news from Checkatrade; they recorded the busiest week ever in June with a 134% increase in searches for services.”
On the residential and commercial construction
“The residential sector seems to have kicked back into a surge. Allowing for people to work within the COVID-secure measures, we are managing to get lots of residential properties finished and hopefully that will keep the supply chain moving, as long as we can sell these properties, and hopefully with a bit of support of stamp duty relief from the Government.”
“Across schools, colleges, stadia and hospitals there is an anticipated surge as well, along with the overall commercial construction sector.”
On buildings sector investments
“Boris said in Parliament on Sunday ‘we will build and Kier Starmer is going to block’. However, it’s about time we saw some of those plans being put through and the funding committed to.”
“Hopefully we’ll see a continued momentum as we claw our way out of this difficult situation and get further growth within the construction and buildings sector.”
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