Stable growth for the construction industry is shown by figures from the Office for National Statistics as output rises 4.1% over the year to Q3 2013.
Housebuilding continues to be the main source of fuel for much of the growth– private housebuilding rose by 15.6% in the same period. This growth in activity is assisted by the Help to Buy scheme which enables homebuyers to obtain a new home by only putting down a 5% deposit.
Julia Evans, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders, said:
“Help to Buy has given a much needed shot in the arm to the housebuilding sector. Activity is increasing, but we started from a low base. We are still building around 40% fewer homes than we were building in 2008; nowhere near enough to meet demand. We need to ensure that the industry is on a sustainable footing before the three-year Help to Buy scheme ends so we don’t see that level of decline again.”
Output in the repair and maintenance sector fell by 0.6%, but despite this drop has remained fairly steady. In contrast to the Green Deal which is struggling to catch the public’s imagination, The Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) continues to generate a significant amount of retrofit work with almost 50,000 installations in August. Cutting funding for ECO would reduce available work at a time of rising costs and further depress activity in this sector.