UK construction surges on housing growth - but building is still behind UK's needs

UK construction is up four per cent in the year to August, according to new ONS estimates, and that's largely driven by new work.

New work rose 5.5 per cent in the same period, with the new housing subcomponent of that category up 16.7 per cent while infrastructure fell by 5.5 per cent.

Despite that stunning growth in new housing, house building as a whole is still well behind the UK's needs. Estimates suggest that we need to be building 290,5000 homes per year - yet in the last three years only 111,300 have been built per year.

The more recent numbers are weaker, with construction dropping 0.1 per cent in the month of August. The ONS says that decrease was apparent in both new work and repair & maintenance.

Jeremy Cook, chief economist at World First says that the "summer of Strong UK data has suddenly come to an end" and that "the fall in construction output will give succour to those of the economic and political fraternity who believe that a marked increase in residential housing pressures are just around the corner".