UK construction activity falls for first time in 11 months - City A.M.

  • Date: 04/03/2019

Source: Callum Keown, reporter at City A.M.

UK construction activity declined in February for the first time in eleven months led by a drop in commercial building work. Civil engineering work also fell but residential construction continued to grow for the 13th consecutive month, according to the IHS Markit / CIPS Construction purchasing managers’ index (PMI).

BLP Insurance director Phil Harris said the long-term viability of Help to Buy was also a concern for the construction sector. He said the success of Persimmon and a subsequent government review into the scheme could accelerate the collapse of Help to Buy.

"The scheme has been propping up the residential sector and keeping prices artificially high in an otherwise stagnating market.

"Its collapse could leave thousands of first time buyers in negative equity, with the aftershock having the potential to severely impact on the wider industry – blowing the government’s optimistic housebuilding targets out of the water in the process."

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