8 October 2020
Construction Activity Recovery Begins
The latest information from Builders’ Conference shows that both the number and value of contracts awarded in September increased compared to recent months, providing a welcome boost for the industry.
The number of contracts awarded in September was 450, which was the highest since April when the lockdown was in full force. This was still 24% below the average number of contracts awarded each month pre-coronavirus (593 between September 2019 and March 2020) and 18% lower than in September 2019 (549).
The value of contracts awarded in September also reached its highest level since April at £5.8 billion. This included a £1 billion mixed-used development project that spans housing, a film and TV complex, a school and improved infrastructure. Despite this, the value in September was still 15% lower than the monthly average of £6.8 billion between September 2019 and March 2020.
Just over a third of all the contracts awarded were housing projects (167 projects with a combined value of £2.1 billion). There were also 48 office projects worth £731 million and 81 education projects with a total value of £348 million.
The contracts were concentrated in the South, with London (£1.6 billion), Essex (£1 billion) and Kent (£337 million) accounting for more than half of the overall value. Scotland continues to struggle with just £112 million in new work awarded across 24 projects.
There was a small increase of 5% in the number of tender opportunities, up from 280 in August to 295 in September. However, this was still 54% below the monthly average of 640 projects available for tender between September 2019 and March 2020 and 64% lower than September 2019.
At present, there are just 170 tender opportunities available until the end of December 2020, according to Builders’ Conference.