‘Cautious optimism’ returning to Scottish construction sector

Allan Callaghan
Allan Callaghan

The Scottish construction industry “should not worry unduly” about a dip in results announced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), according to the boss at Cruden Building & Renewals.

Figures from the ONS last week revealed that output in the construction industry was estimated to have decreased by 1.3 per cent in May 2015 compared with April 2015 with new work, and repair and maintenance both contributing to the fall.

However, Allan Callaghan, managing director of Cruden Building & Renewals, said: “The figures released by ONS show a dip in construction output compared to the previous month, but my view is that the Scottish construction industry should not worry unduly based on this set of results. Compared with the same month last year, output increased by 1.3 per cent.

“There is a cautious optimism that’s returning to the Scottish construction sector and within Cruden, we are seeing a noticeable buoyancy and confidence, particularly within the house building industry.”

All new work decreased by 1.5 per cent, with all types of new work except infrastructure reporting decreases; total housing reported the largest fall of 5.8 per cent, with smaller falls from private industrial, public other and private commercial of 3.3 per cent, 1.4 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively.

Repair and maintenance (R&M) decreased by 1.0 per cent. Falls in non-housing R&M (-1.9 per cent) and private housing R&M (-0.8 per cent) were offset slightly by public housing R&M, which increased by 1.8 per cent.

Compared with May 2014, output in the construction industry showed an increase of 1.3 per cent. All new work increased by 3.2 per cent while repair and maintenance decreased by 1.7 per cent.

Comparing the three months, March 2015 to May 2015, with the previous three months, December 2014 to February 2015, construction output fell by 0.4 per cent. All new work decreased by 1.7 per cent and repair and maintenance increased by 1.8 per cent.

When comparing the three months, March 2015 to May 2015 with the same three months a year ago, construction output was estimated to have increased by 2.7 per cent. All new work increased by 4.2 per cent and repair and maintenance by 0.3 per cent.

The only period open for revision is April 2015 which has been revised upwards 0.3 per cent from a fall of 0.8 per cent to a fall of 0.5 per cent. This was caused by the incorporation of late data.

Mr Callaghan added: “Cruden Homes has seen a noticeable sea change in demand for quality, affordable housing. Recently, we launched our latest housing development, King’s View in Glasgow’s South Side and for the first time in years, buyers began queuing up to buy homes the night before they were released for sale. This returning confidence in the housing market is more good news for the construction industry.”

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