Housebuilding decline hits April’s construction stats

A slump in housebuilding contributed to a decline in construction activity in the UK in April.

The value of new construction contracts for the month was £4.9 billion, a decrease of 6.8% compared to March, new research released by Barbour ABI has revealed.

The decline coincides with a 15.3% drop in housebuilding compared to the previous month and a “wavering” infrastructure sector.

The latest edition of the Economic & Construction Market Review did bring good news for the medical and health construction sector though, which posted the highest monthly value for projects for more than two years, at £229 million. Hotel, leisure and sport construction also saw an increase in contract value for the third successive month. Commercial and retail and education saw declines in contract values, down 10 and 9.3% respectively.

Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said, “April is a reminder for the industry that when both infrastructure and in particular housebuilding falter, construction figures will by far and large decrease. Other sectors had more of a successful month, such as medical and health construction, however due to the scale and size of infrastructure and housing construction, it’s an overwhelming task for other segments of the industry to make up the sizeable difference.”