The rise in repair and maintenance building work of 2.2% in the three months to October 2023 is holding up an overall fall in construction activity, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to the latest figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB commented; “After the seemingly positive figures released last month, which had seen construction output grow by 0.4% for September, it is disappointing to see that October’s growth has declined by 0.5%. Repair and maintenance building work has once again been positive, but unlike previous months the gains were not large enough to mask underlying issues, such as a decline in new housing.”
Brian Berry continued: “Overall, the construction sector is struggling with the three months to October seeing a 0.3% decline, which is worrying, but small local builders committed to repair, and maintenance work are propping up the industry. The largest concern for smaller builders will be those engaged in house building, who are seeing a tough market. With a new Housing Minister in place, pragmatic solutions are needed to help kick start the creation of new homes, or better yet, a long-term plan for housing.”