Private commercial growth to outpace housing to 2018

The private commercial market is expected to increase by 5 per cent in 2018, while the private housing sector is set to grow by just 1 per cent in the same year.

This represents a significant slowdown in housing, which grew by 8.4 per cent in 2015 and is forecast to expand by 5 per cent this year.

It also represents an improvement for the private commercial market, which declined by 1 per cent last year.

However, the new forecasts relate to data collected before last month’s EU referendum, meaning that while the impact of uncertainty has been factored into the numbers, the ensuing economic turmoil from the referendum’s result has not been included.

The Markit / CIPS Construction PMI, collected in the weeks immediately before the referendum, showed construction activity fell to its lowest monthly level for seven years in June.

And since the referendum, a number of leading forecasters have said they will downgrade their expectations for construction, including Leading Edge, Hewes & Associates, and Glenigan.

The positive outlook for the commercial market is largely based outside London, with regional centres “still in the early part of their upswing” in commercial development, according to Experian.

However, the forecaster added that the impact of referendum result was “currently unquantifiable but almost certain to be negative” across the majority of sector forecasts.

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BDC 314 : Mar 2024