House building in a ‘ditch’ with other construction segments, says CIPS


UK house building is among the construction segments to have fallen into a “ditch” in October, the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) has said.

The body’s monthly market index highlighted house building as among the worst-performing segments, alongside civil engineering and commercial construction.

House building contracted to a three-year low and commercial construction fell for the tenth month in a row, while civil engineering performed worst of all, it said.

The overall index hit 44.2 in October, up from 43.3 in September but still below the neutral 50 reading. Readings below 50 signal negative growth.

Companies had noted “subdued client demand due to political uncertainty”, CIPS said.

“To say these figures are disappointing is a big understatement. Given that the next political hurdle is December’s general election, all eyes will be on the new administration and clear direction, because at the moment there is little insight into what could possibly pull the sector out of its ditch,” said CIPS group director Duncan Brock.

Across the construction industry, new orders dropped for the seventh month in a row and staffing levels have declined every month since April. 

Last week, Barratt Developments began redundancy consultation with staff at one of its London divisions, according to a Bloomberg report.

The UK’s second-largest house builder by market value is reportedly considering up to 20 job losses in the capital.

The monthly construction industry snapshot was supplied by IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index.

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