These are the UK’s construction and property development 2020-2021 hotspots
Different regions of the UK experience different levels of growth in the property and construction sectors. These insights are invaluable for investors, builders, and buyers, particularly when it comes to spotting the next up-and-coming area for regeneration.
Construction intelligence platform Barbour ABI’s latest Construction Hotspots Report based on official national statistics (ONS) reveals where the UK construction industry is building, where investment is highest, and what kind of contracts are being awarded.
London is still the highest-grossing region of the UK overall
London’s gross value added (GVA) was over £22 billion in 2019, which is 18.5% of the national total, so it’s clear that the capital still leads the way in this respect. Bexley and Greenwich (471.2%), Enfield (129.0%), and Redbridge and Waltham Forest (20.9%) saw the biggest increase in contract value compared to the previous year.
However, Barbour ABI are quick to point out that when you break ONS data down and compare with other regions of the UK, only three London boroughs make the top ten highest-grossing list. In terms of contributions to the construction industry in 2019 Hertfordshire actually tops the list, with £4.3 billion GVA, followed by West Surrey (£2.4 billion), and Gloucestershire (£2.1 billion). Overall, the top ten includes areas across the South East, South West, London, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the East of England.
Hull and the Shetland Islands saw the biggest value increase in awarded contracts
Compared to 2019, Shetland and Kingston-upon-Hull have experienced a respective 8,120% and 2,220% increase in the value of construction contracts awarded. This doesn’t mean there’s going to be a sudden increase in buy-to-let properties or commercial spaces, however, the rise can be entirely attributed to the construction of two offshore wind farms.
Many hotspot regions are experiencing residential, commercial, and infrastructure growth
The top ten highest value contracts in 2020 were all infrastructure related, but most of the hotspot regions have seen a range of residential, commercial, and infrastructure builds over the last 12 months. Two areas – Swindon and the Wirral – were the only areas to host all three, and the East Midlands was the only region to receive just infrastructure contracts.
London was awarded £4.8 billion in residential contracts and the North West is in second place with £3 billion, making it the most invested-in region for residential developments outside of London.
Coronavirus only temporarily slowed things down
Everything shut down in mid-March 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but when property and construction projects restarted again in England and Wales in May 2020, their value was higher than the value of the delayed projects. Post-lockdown there were more regional hotspots in the UK than coldspots, and building was balanced across residential, commercial, and infrastructure. Overall, the post-pandemic picture is positive.
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