Building activity in Q3 2019 fell at the second-fastest rate since April 2009, as the UK construction sector remains stuck in a downturn, according to the latest Construction PMI figures. According to Construction PMI figures, a historically steep drop in new orders was also registered, while firms scaled back employment at the fastest rate since the end of 2010 due to unfavourable demand, client hesitancy and low confidence.

With Brexit uncertainty continuing to weigh on the construction industry, Prime Minister Boris Johnson needs to take action to remedy the issues facing the sector, Phil Harris, director at BLP Insurance has warned. Construction PMI figures showed building activity fell at the second-fastest rate since April 2009, only narrowly outpaced by June’s decline.

"With traditional elements of the British manufacturing sector exhibiting stark signs of decline, it’s time for the industry to adapt and further diversify, placing more emphasis on contemporary manufacturing activity, such as the burgeoning offsite construction market. As measured by the CIPS Purchasing Manager Index (PMI), the UK manufacturing sector has languished in recession for the past three out of the last four months" writes Jeff Maxted, BLP Insurance

According to a survey carried out by the company, BLP Insurance, over half of the people currently living in the UK are looking towards more adventurous styles of living. What this means is that more and more residential property owners in Britain are seeking unconventional types of housing such as boats, tree houses, converted barns, warehouses, or churches, all in an attempt to create a more modern and adventurous home life.

Appreciating value and equity build-up are the main benefits for property homeowners, BLP Insurance, a specialist residential warranty and commercial latent defects insurer, has found. Kim Vernau, chief executive at BLP Insurance, said: “With prospective first-time buyers struggling to get their foot on the housing ladder and no quick fix in sight, it’s more important than ever that the standards of rental accommodation are addressed."

A rental provider specialising in property for older tenants has attacked what he calls “hidden costs” involved when people buy purpose-built retirement units. Jamie Turnbull, business director at Girlings Retirement Rentals, says a recent survey by BLP Insurance revealed that 46 per cent of over-60s were worried about the cost of moving to a purpose-built retirement ‘village’ with 44 per cent expressing reservations about hidden fees and some 25 per cent regarding complex contracts as a “major pain point.”

The UK construction PMI came in at 43.1 in June, a dramatic drop from the 48.6 recorded the month prior and far off the market expectation of 49.3. This is the sharpest fall since April 2009, IHS Markit/CIPS says, adding that both house building and commercial building projects fell off steeply  – the former being at its worst level for three years and the latter the most steeply since December 2009 – and that demand for products and materials fell at its most rapid pace since January 2010.

Two thirds (66%) of people aged 60 or over have never considered downsizing their property, according to a recent survey by BLP Insurance, a specialist residential warranty and commercial latent defects insurer.

A majority of people renting in the UK say they will NEVER be able to afford a home – although they would like to buy their own place. And almost 4 in 10 of those renting are stuck in cold, damp properties with landlords unwilling to do basic repairs and maintenance. The plight of those renting in 2019 in the UK is highlighted in a new YouGov survey on behalf of the HomeOwners Alliance and BLP Insurance.

Construction buyers have reported the sharpest fall in construction output since March 2018, as lower volumes of commercial and civil engineering work offset a modest increase in house building. That’s according to the latest IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Activity Index, which reported a score of 48.6 in May, down from 50.5 in April, where anything below 50.0 represents a fall in activity. It is the lowest reading since the snow-related downturn in construction output during March 2018.

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