UK construction activity May 2024: Health


Main contract awards and detailed planning approvals decreased against both last year and the previous three months. More positively, project starts grew on the preceding quarter and a year ago, providing a boost to the development pipeline.

Health overview

Adding up to £740m, underlying health work starting on site (less than £100m in value) during the three months to May fell 25 per cent against the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted (SA) basis to stand 2 per cent down against the previous year. At £237m, major projects (£100m or more) starting on site jumped 126 per cent against the previous quarter and grew on last year when no major projects started on site. Overall, health starts grew 3 per cent against the previous quarter and increased 29 per cent on a year ago, totalling £977m.

Totalling £729m, health main contract awards were down 39 per cent against the preceding three months and 49 per cent down against a year ago. Major projects totalled £137m, down 63 per cent against the preceding three months and down 76 per cent against the previous year. Underlying contract awards also experienced a poor performance, decreasing 32 per cent against the preceding three months (SA) to stand 31 per cent down against the previous year.

Detailed planning approvals, totalling £1.246bn, slipped back 21 per cent against the preceding quarter and fell 57 per cent on the previous year. Major project approvals, totalling £347m, decreased 27 per cent against the previous quarter to stand 82 per cent down against last year. Underlying approvals, at £899m, experienced a 4 per cent decrease (SA) compared with the preceding three months to stand 9 per cent lower than a year ago.

Types of projects started

Hospitals accounted for 51 per cent of health work starting on site during the three months to May, with the value having increased 72 per cent against the previous year’s levels to total £500m. Nursing home project-starts, accounting for 16 per cent of the sector, also grew 10 per cent compared with the previous year to total £153m. Day centre project starts totalled £5m during the period, unlike last year when no projects started on-site.

In contrast, accounting for 5 per cent of health projects starting on-site, dental, health, and veterinary centres slipped back 44 per cent on a year ago to total £47m.

Regional

Totalling £274m, the South East was the most active region for health project-starts during the three months to May, having grown 121 per cent against the previous year to account for 28 per cent of sector starts. At £165m, London accounted for a 17 per cent share. The value of the projects starting on-site in the Capital jumped more than seven times compared with last year’s levels.

Health starts in the South West accounted for 15 per cent and jumped 88 per cent compared with the previous year’s levels, totalling £148m. Accounting for 12 per cent, the North West also experienced a strong period in health starts, having grown 41 per cent on a year ago to total £115m. In contrast, accounting for a 5 per cent share, starts in the West Midlands slipped back 34 per cent against the previous year to total £54m. The East of England accounted for the same share at £45m, having decreased 42 per cent.

With a total value of £396m, the South East was the most active region for detailed planning approvals, having more than doubled on a year ago to account for 32 per cent of the health sector. Approvals in the West Midlands grew 50 per cent compared with the previous year to total £135m, an 11 per cent share of health consents.

Accounting for a 7 per cent share, consents in the North West climbed 3 per cent to total £85m. In contrast, accounting for a 23 per cent share, health approvals in the East of England fell 66 per cent against the previous year to total £286m. Accounting for a 10 per cent share of consents, project approvals in the South West were 76 per cent lower than last year to total £128m.



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