Commenting on the latest CIPS/Markit Construction PMI for the month of August, Jan Crosby, UK head of infrastructure, building and construction, KPMG said.
“August’s Construction PMI may have pointed to an easing of output growth, but at least the positive momentum continues and there remains a sense of optimism.
“As is clear in the latest figures, residential continues to be buoyed by the underlying demand for housing, driven by moves as families grow, moves to rural rather than urban living and the massive need for affordable key worker housing. Pricing levels are being maintained and in some areas are even rising, with rates of sale at high levels too. How long this will last is of course a key question, but notwithstanding the rising unemployment levels, people still need accommodation and if history is anything to go by, wholesale planning changes are likely to temporarily slow land release in the short term and keep pricing stable even if demand slows. The stamp duty holidays were not needed, instead the focus should be on shovel ready infrastructure projects, including hospital builds as well as key worker and affordable housing programmes facilitated with rapid modular builds.
“Logistics and infrastructure construction, such as highways and rail, still remain hot sectors and increasingly we may see opportunities in regeneration too – both of our high streets and converting bricks and mortar retail to other use classes, for example. Contractors are also looking at partnerships with institutions to develop core investment buildings, whether it be student accommodation, build to rent, senior living, affordable housing, data centres or logistics facilities.”
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