Demand revives for demolition

Published:  21 June, 2010

LONDON: Demolition contractors, key early indicators of building activity, are experiencing an unexpected pick-up in work as property companies start to clear land for new developments.

The five largest demolition companies, all privately owned, have seen revenues and profit margins - which are traditionally about 20% - fall sharply since 2007. Further declines in demand were expected this year. However, improved economic confidence and a revived appetite for new construction have kick-started demand for demolition, writes the Financial Times.

The bulk of new building activity is within London and the south-east, where demand for both residential and commercial property has started to revive. Dave Darsey, managing director of Erith Group, a London-focused demolition contractor, said: "Things are starting to come back. Slowly, but definitely better than where it was six months ago."

Demolition companies in other parts of the country are also experiencing renewed demand for their services, in some cases fuelled by the public sector. John Wring, managing director of Bristol-based Wring Demolition, said that his company had received a raft of new contracts during the past six weeks as local authorities sought to move developments on stream before budgets for capital projects were cut. But workloads across the sector were still down from the peaks of early 2007.

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