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Commercial and retail construction contracts at highest level since 2012

The value of commercial and retail construction contracts awarded in October has reached its highest level in two years.

Their value totalled more than £1.2bn in October based on a three-month rolling average, according to Barbour ABI’s Economic & Construction Market Review, representing a 15.9% increase on September and a 74.7% increase compared with October 2013.

The report also showed that the sector accounted for 16% of the total value of all construction contracts UK-wide, with more than a quarter (25.3%) of these awarded in London.

Barbour ABI lead economist Michael Dall said: “The value of construction contracts awarded in the commercial and retail sector in October rose to its highest level since 2012, which is hugely encouraging for the wider industry.

“It’s no surprise that London was the main location of activity in the sector this month with 25.3% of the value of all contracts awarded, largely due to the £80m office development on 4 Kingdom Street, Paddington, the mixed use development at North Wharf Gardens, also in Paddington, worth £65m, and the Charter Place complex in Watford valued at £25m.”

Offices were the dominant type of project in the sector, accounting for 68% of contract award value in October, with general retailing the other significant category at 23%.

Wales accounted for nearly half of the total value of hotel, leisure and sport construction contracts awarded in October, totalled £331m and accounting for 43.8% of the UK total.

This is largely down to the Circuit of Wales track passing through the final planning stages, which will commence construction in the New Year. The aim is for it to be ready to host the British MotoGP round in 2016.

Economic & Construction Market Review is a monthly report designed to give valuable insight into UK construction industry performance.

It is compiled from Barbour ABI’s records of construction data for every UK planning application, and key indicators, such as the Office for National Statistics’ Construction New Orders data.

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