26 April 2019

Remarkably Positive – First Quarter 2019 Contract Performance Report

Build UK is now working with leading data and contract lead provider, the Builders’ Conference. Offering access to a comprehensive database with the latest information on contracts and market conditions and a 25% discount for Build UK members, this new partnership will provide valuable data and reports on the current and future state of the industry.

The first report for Q1 of 2019 on Contract Performance has now been published.

If 2018 was defined by an unprecedented degree of stability within the UK construction sector for new contracts, then the beginning of 2019 can be best described as almost remarkably positive.

For twelve consecutive months during 2018, according to data collected by Builders’ Conference the sector delivered new contract awards valued at upwards of £4.0 billion. January 2019 marked a notable increase on this value with the monthly total topping £7.424 billion an increase in value of just over 50% compared to December 2018.

But even the most optimistic of market watchers could not have predicted the results in February and March which delivered totals of £10.754 and £6.77 billion respectively to make the total value for Q1 2019 of £25.006 billion up 32.5 % from Q4 2018. The number of new construction projects starting also increasing by 9% in the quarter to 2,250.

Going forward, what may affect construction durability, is the period between submission of bid and start on site, which, according to recent Builders’ Conference research, currently runs on average at around 24 weeks. If this period extends due to the lack of clarity from negotiations in Europe, this may have a significant impact on how the UK construction sector finishes 2019.

Build UK contractor members contributed over £9.1 billion (36%) of all new construction contracts in the quarter. These included a £300 million mixed use regeneration scheme in Blossom Street on the edge of Spitalfields Market in London for British Land and a £98 million new hospital specialising in non-emergency procedures for Frimley Health NHS Foundation in Ascot, Berkshire.

For the sector to deliver such results at any time would be notable. But to do so when the UK’s future in Europe hangs in the balance, when the nation is gripped by economic uncertainty and when several of the sector’s biggest and best-known names have been forced to restructure and refinance, Q1 2019 performance truly is impressive. Furthermore, based upon the prevalence of forward bidding that would see contract awards extend beyond whichever date Brexit might finally take place, it seems that this positivity is set to continue.

Research by Builders’ Conference of their members indicates that what might impact upon that positivity is resourcing adequate materials & personnel to meet demands, particularly as a number of key issues have yet to be determined with Brexit negotiations over customs & borders.

The full report can be found on the Build UK website.

To find out more information about Builders’ Conference and the data on offer, click here.