Number of newbuilds down in month of May, says Barbour ABI

Published:  08 June, 2015

Housebuilding suffered a setback in May as the number of contracts awarded for newbuild residential units fell to its lowest point of the year.

According to the latest data from Barbour ABI, a chosen provider of construction data for the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the government, contracts were awarded to build 8,175 newbuild residential units in total across the UK in May 2015, almost 8,000 units lower than this year’s peak of 15,812 units, in January.

However, the construction industry is not likely be to fazed by this recent dip in figures, as early indications have shown that residential construction has had a strong start to 2015. Contracts were awarded to build 49,707 residential units in the first four months of the year, compared to 33,757 within the same timeframe in 2014, resulting in a 32% increase.

Commenting on the figures, Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said: “With much uncertainty looming around the general election last month and a hung parliament looking like the probable outcome, it seems likely that investors and housebuilders decided to wait for the outcome of the election before coming to a decision on significant housebuilding projects.

“With the election now in the distant past, and the expansion of initiatives to support first time buyers, I expect house building to bounce back in June and have a strong second half of the year.”

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