Commercial and Retail Construction Continues to Thrive

The value of new construction contracts in September reached £5.6 billion, a 6.1% decrease compared to August but the second-best performing month of 2018 so far.

The latest Economic & Construction Market Review from Barbour ABI states that commercial and retail construction have made contracts worth over £800 million in the past month.

The largest project in September was the £187.5 million 10 Bank Street mixed-use development in London, almost double the value of the second largest project of the month. With three of the four largest projects in September based in London, this greatly helped the capital account for the largest share of contracts awarded on the month, with a total of 18.2%, followed by the South East with a 15.3% share and then the North West with 13.1%.

Across the construction sector in September, commercial and retail projects reached £814 million, its best month since July 2016. 75% of these projects were office-led, such as the £60 million Lidl Headquarters development in Chessington. Infrastructure and residential, the two largest sectors within construction, both saw decreases last month, 11.7 and 5.9% compared to the figures from August.

Commenting on the figures, Michael Dall, Lead Economist at Barbour ABI said, “The last three months has seen a renaissance for commercial and retail construction, with various large projects commissioned and a growing flow of confidence back into the sub-sector. However industrial was the only other sub-sector to see any sort of growth in September, as bigger sectors such as infrastructure and residential are struggling to break the monthly £2 billion contract value barrier consistently, an achievement that was found more regularly in 2017.”

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