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There is likely to be double-digit growth in construction activity this year as the industry continues its strong rebound from the impact of the pandemic.

Last month, Advantage looked at how the latest ONS data showed rising levels of construction output.

And this week, Construction Enquirer reported that construction activity accelerated in the first quarter of the year, although the rate of acceleration varies from sector to sector.

A slight reduction in projected growth

They add that the Construction Product Association have downgraded growth forecasts slightly fearing impacts from supply constraints for key imported construction products and uncertainty around demand for housing new builds, and commercial space.

Major projects help drive growth in construction activity

Infrastructure was least affected by the initial lockdown, and is set to motor ahead 29%, reaching its highest level on record.

This will be driven by activity on major projects such as HS2, as well as activity on long-term frameworks in water, roads, electricity and broadband sectors.

Varying rates of output for different parts of the sector

The UK Tradesmen website stated that overall the construction sector seemed set for a period of huge growth this year, but also added that some parts of the sector are still likely to face significant challenges, quoting Noble Francis who is economics director at the Construction Product Association (CPA), who said:

“While (the) outlook is largely positive, the recovery in commercial – the third-largest construction sector – is expected to be muted given a lack of major investment in new projects, particularly in Central London.”

Challenges facing construction

Noble Francis added:

“Questions remain over future demand of commercial space, particularly in offices and retail, which may be converted into residential or warehousing and logistics, if homeworking and online spending persists in the long-term.

“More notably, however, there are significant risks to the recovery in the form of supply constraints in terms of extended lead times and sharp rises in costs for vital imported products such as paints and varnishes, timber, roofing materials, copper, steel and polymers.

“This may hinder the ability of construction activity to increase in line with our forecast.

“Furthermore, concerns remain whether the high levels of demand for housing new build and rm&i can be maintained after the government stimulus and policy measures end on 30 September, particularly the furloughing and self-employment income schemes and stamp duty holiday.”

Advantage’s View: Even factoring in the above challenges for construction, we’re already seeing the sector bouncing back at a rate that only the most optimistic could’ve hoped for last year. Within our field (as structural warranty specialists), we’re continuing to experience a high level of demand for our services, and it looks likely that for housebuilding in particular, we could see pre-pandemic levels of output within the next year or so.

Whether you’re a social and affordable housing specialist or a commercial developer or you’re planning to build or convert your dream home, Advantage can provide structural warranties for projects ranging from multi-million pound developments to individual self-builds. If you would like more information, please call: 0845 900 3969, email: sales@ahci.co.uk or pay a visit to our homepage: https://ahci.co.uk/