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Hot housing sector boosts UK economic growth in March

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  • 12/05/2021
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Hot housing sector boosts UK economic growth in March
Housebuilding and repair and maintenance rebounded strongly in March, the latest data on gross domestic product (GDP) from the ONS has shown.

 

New housing construction output in the private sector rose 9.4 per cent, and for public housing growth was 16.7 per cent in March compared to February 2021.

For repair and maintenance work, private housing output grew 7.7 per cent and and public housing 3.7 per cent, month-on-month.

Andy Sommerville, director at property market solutions provider Search Acumen, said: “The rise in new housing construction is likely to have been driven partly by house builders encouraged by the property market running hot, due to the stamp duty holiday.

“This was coupled with the coming reopening of the economy, which improved business confidence levels throughout March, and prompted firms to progress residential building projects.”

Sommerville added: “However, rising input costs may cause some house-builders to rein in new building activity in the medium-term, unless they can protect margins by passing on costs to consumers.”

Construction growth in Q1 was 2.6 per cent. The main contributors were new work in infrastructure at 4.3 per cent and private housing at 2.7 per cent; as well as repair and maintenance work in non-housing at 3.2 per cent.

In March, total UK GDP grew by 2.1 per cent, with construction a major contributor at 5.8 per cent growth.

For Q1, GDP fell overall by 1.5 per cent.

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