The UK construction industry is set to grow 23% by the end of 2018, with private housing helping to drive growth in the short term, according to the latest Autumn forecasts from the Construction Products Association (CPA).
Construction industry output is forecast to increase 4.8% this year and 5.3% in 2015 – up from the respective predictions of 4.7% and 4.8% made earlier this year.
Private housing starts are predicted to grow 18% this year and 10% in 2015, “leaving starts at 148,000,” CPA said. Beyond 2015, private housing growth is set to slow, but CPA said that it predicted a total of 171,000 starts in 2018.
General construction growth is forecast to continue throughout 2018. But CPA warned that “several risks” remained, namely the strength of the UK and Eurozone economies, the outcome of the general election and supply constraints.
Noble Francis, CPA’s Economics Director, said that the forecast for private housing was also dependent on certain factors. He commented: “We forecast starts to rise 18.0% in 2014 and 10.0% in 2015. In order for such projections to be met, however, increased capacity is necessary, particularly from SME housebuilders. In addition, there remain serious questions about affordability and higher mortgage repayment costs.”