But total value of residential project starts still 26% down year-on-year says Glenigan

The underlying project value of residential starts has risen 13% in May, according to Glenigan.

The construction market data firm said the value of housing starts in the three months to May was £2.58bn, up from £2.26bn in the overlapping period in the three months to April.

However, the value of housing starts is 26% down on the £3.4bn for the same quarter last year and shows development activity in 2022 so far at a significantly lower level.

Private housing starts increased 45% in the three months to May compared to the three months to April, but are still down 23% year-on year. Social housing starts fell 23% against the last quarter and are 32% down on the same period in 2021.

Value of residential project starts

The data following figures from the the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) and S&P Global yesterday showing flatlining housing output.

Other official data, including official construction output figures and EPC registrations have also suggested housebuilding activity may have peaked at the start of the year.

Overall construction starts increased 9% in the three months to May compared to the three months to April, but remains 19% lower than a year ago.

A spokesperson for Glenigan said the data “paints a more optimistic picture” for construction overall compared to the “gloomy outlook” in recent months.

He said: “After almost a year of steady decline, the value of underlying project-starts increased by almost a tenth during the three months to May.

“Furthermore, the past twelve months has seen a strong development pipeline of contract awards and planning approvals built-up, indicating green shoots of recovery are starting to emerge.

“However, this modest uptick should be approached with cautious optimism. External influences, particularly the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine War and Brexit continue to send shockwaves through UK business and industry, with supply chains tightly squeezed throughout the first half of 2022.