Housing crisis? What housing crisis? Demand may be vastly outweighing supply in the UK's housing market at the moment – but the signs are looking increasingly encouraging, after new figures showed the UK's construction sector had one of its best months of the year in September, with growth hitting a seven-month high and – housebuilding increasing at its fastest pace in a year.
The Markit/CIPS construction PMI for the month was 59.9 overall – an increase from 57.3 in August and over two points higher than the 57.5 forecast by analysts. Any figure over 50 indicates expansion.
While an increase in residential building was one of the main contributing factors to September's high figure, a three-month high in job creation in the sector also provided a boost.
But although the result shines a positive light on the current state of Britain's building companies, Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit, warned that the sector's future could be dampened by a lack of high-skilled workers:
Construction firms enjoyed a strong finish to the third quarter of 2015, as a sustained rebound in new development projects continued to have an impact on the ground.Moreover, September data suggests that the UK construction sector is still experiencing its most intense cycle of job hiring for at least 15 years, and consequently skill shortages remain a dominant concern across the industry.