UK: Private housing construction increased 4% year-on year-for the three months to December, according to the latest data from construction industry analyst, Glenigan. 

"The increase is due in part to a number of high value projects starting on site including a £70m development by United House for NHP Leisure that comprises 370 apartments and a hotel in Kingston upon Thames; 10 luxury flats in the Shard of Glass; a £36m scheme in Trowbridge and a £24m scheme in Oldham.

Looking ahead, Glenigan forecasts 16% year-on-year growth for private housing in 2012 compared to a 7% overall decline for construction project starts, commented James Abraham, economist, Glenigan.

For the construction industry as a whole, project starts for the three months to December fell 6% year-on-year.

"Social housing project starts fell 27% as Government cut-backs continue to impact the sector and non-residential construction fell 17% with retail being the only part of the sector to see an increase. Civil engineering projects by contrast increased 51% year-on-year with utilities projects in particular driving growth," Mr Abraham explained.

On the regional perspective, Mr Abraham observed: "Despite the national negative trend, Wales, the South East and South West of England enjoyed an increase in the year-on-year flow of new work in the final quarter of 2011, compared to falls in excess of 20% in Northern Ireland, the East and North West of England and a decline of a third in Yorkshire."