Housebuilding remains key factor in construction industry growth
Housebuilding remains a key factor in construction industry growth, despite commercial construction work slowing in 2017.
According to a new survey, housing largely accounted for construction sector growth in the latter part of last year, while commercial work waned.
Director of Customer Relationships for the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, Duncan Brock, said: "The housing sector was the strongest performer again and materials for residential building were in greater demand fuelling longer delivery times, shortages of key materials and sharper input cost rises".
Brock continued: "The sector offered little in terms of comfort at the end of 2017, though the pace of new business picked up to its strongest level since May, and purchasing activity rose to its fastest rate in two years, supply chains were under increasing pressure from all sides."
Housebuilding and the housing sector was an important feature of last year's Autumn Budget, with Chancellor Philip Hammond revealing that the government would commit at least £44 billion to supporting the housing market and tackling what he referred to as 'the housing challenge'. New funds are also being set aside to get SME housebuilders building.
Brexit and ongoing economic uncertainty has cast a shadow over the construction industry, though pace has slowed generally in 2017. But there are positive signs, with strong demand for new construction projects in December last year.
There are continuing fears over a possible shortage of EU construction workers operating in the UK as a result of Brexit.
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