UK construction output flat in July on back of slowing housebuilding market

 
Catherine Neilan
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UK construction: Slowing housebuilding has dampened growth (Source: Getty)

The UK's construction output was flat in July, according to month-on-month figures out this morning from the Office for National Statistics.

On an annual basis, output has risen 2.6 per cent – the slowest rate of growth since November, and down from June's three month high of 5.3 per cent, the data showed.
Could this suggest a tailing off after the green shoots we saw late last year?
We have already seen plenty of reports pointing to a cooling in the housing market, certainly in London. Most recently the RICS/Halifax survey out on Monday suggested property sales had fallen for the first time since September 2012 last month.
ONS figures back that up with private sector homebuilding rising 1.1 per cent in July, down from two per cent in June.
The annual growth rate has slowed to a five-month low of 15.9 per cent.
Meanwhile orders in the second quarter were down 4.3 per cent, compared with a 3.8 per cent rise for all new work. This was largely thanks to private commercial orders – shopping centres in particular – up 9.6 per cent across the sector.
Overall, therefore, while there is undoubtedly a cooling off on demand in some areas, the sector is not looking too bad.
Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist for IHS Global Insight, said: "Prospects still look relatively healthy for house building even if the growth rate will struggle to match the heady level seen earlier this year.
"Housing market activity has slowed but should remain decent going forward while the government is looking to support house building."

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