New homes deliver construction firms with 12 months of growth

 
Michael Bow
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NEW HOUSING demand helped the construction sector record 12 months of consecutive growth for the first time in six years at the start of 2014, a survey suggests.

Construction firms across the sector reported a rise in activity between January and March, adding to the previous three quarters of upbeat figures from building firms.

Around 16 per cent of building contractors polled by the Construction Products Association (CPA) saw a rise, with the charge led by contractors building new homes. Nearly 60 per cent in this sector said they had witnessed a rise in the first quarter.

“Firms across construction reported rises in output during quarter one and increases in orders and enquiries clearly indicate that activity will continue to rise throughout 2014,” CPA economics director Dr Noble Francis said.

The surging figures have also created another problem however: a shortage of skilled workers. Six in ten building contractors had trouble finding a bricklayer in Q1 – up from one in 10 last year.