Quarterly construction output up 41.7% according to the Office for National Statistics


Construction output in the third quarter of 2020 rose by 41.7% on Q2, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

As reported by Mortgage Introducer, the data shows that this rise was a result of a 40.8% increase in new work, and a 43.4% uplift in repair and maintenance.

Looking to new work, the rise was attributed to private new housing, which grew by 84.4% in Q3.

Earlier this month, Advantage looked at how construction was brightening the economic gloom for the UK.

House building helps to drive an uptick in construction output

The uptick in repair and maintenance was reportedly due to an increase in private housing repair and maintenance, which rose by 70.9% in the third quarter of 2020.

Furthermore, new orders grew by a record 89.2% in Q3. This growth was attributed to an 88.7% rise in new housing and an 89.4% uptick in all other work.

Public new housing was the only sector in Q3 to decline, dropping by 1.8%.

Comparisons with February output

PBC Today took a look at the latest construction figures and compared them to pre-coronavirus figures for the sector. They found that the level of construction output in September 2020 was 7.3% below that in February 2020, with only infrastructure and private new housing having returned to above pre-pandemic levels of output.

They stated that all other types of work in September have yet to recover, with public new housing the furthest below its February 2020 level at 29.4%.

A year of contrasts for construction

Gareth Belsham, director of Naismiths, said:


“No other industry can match construction for the sheer white-knuckle severity of its decline, and then meteoric recovery.

“After coming to a halt for much of the second quarter, output across the industry rocketed by 41.7% in the third quarter of the year, and it continues to grow faster than any other sector of the economy.

“The industry as a whole remains 7.3% adrift of its pre-pandemic level, but its two hottest subsectors – private housebuilding and infrastructure – have now rebounded completely.

“With the Prime Minister putting construction front and centre of his recovery plan, the industry is stepping up admirably. With work now underway on a swathe of new infrastructure projects, infrastructure output was 1.8% higher in September than it was in February.

“Meanwhile, housebuilders are being deluged with demand. New orders from private sector developers doubled during the third quarter, rising by a gravity-defying 102.9% compared to the second quarter of the year.

“Separate data from the latest PMI survey showed that order books are now fuller than at any time since the pre-Brexit December 2015, suggesting that housebuilders are not just busy now, they are piling up orders for the future too.

“All this is leading to some growing pains, with the supply chain struggling to keep up with demand for certain key building materials.

“Impressive though it is, the recovery is slowing and is still from complete. It is also heavily reliant on the white hot growth of the residential sector, but with socially distant construction work able to continue as usual during England’s second lockdown, the industry is battling on.”

Related read: SMEs experience ‘bounce back’ in workloads.

Advantage Home Construction Insurance is a leading structural warranties specialist. Tel: 0845 900 3969, email: sales@ahci.co.uk or pay a visit to our homepage: https://ahci.co.uk/

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