Regional construction work hits record levels

5 February 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Image: Dreamstime / Bogdan Hoda

Regional construction work has hit record levels amid strong confidence among developers, according to the latest Deloitte Real Estate Crane Survey.

The survey monitors construction activity in Belfast, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Dublin.

It found a sustained or increased level of development across a range of sectors, particularly residential.

By city, the survey found:

Commenting on the surveys’ findings, Simon Bedford, partner and regional head at Deloitte Real Estate, said: “To have construction figures this healthy is somewhat of a surprise given a myriad of market uncertainties. Developer confidence is a key indicator for economic health and to have this many significant construction starts over the last 12 months, especially in speculative office schemes, is testament to the resilience of the regions and appetite for growth.”

“If Manchester had featured in the recently published North American Crane Index, it would have ranked number two - behind Toronto but in front of Seattle, Los Angeles and Chicago. That might have seemed like a remarkable stat a few years ago given Manchester only had one crane in the sky in 2011, but today the figure is a massive 78 sites under construction.

“The marked increase in office construction levels is reflective of the continued draw to all these regional cities for major businesses.”

Looking ahead, he concluded: “Despite record levels now, challenges may arise as we enter the 2020s. Each of our featured cities have ambitious plans which, if they are to emerge, will need to be supported by investment in essential infrastructure which is currently struggling to keep up with the pace of real estate development. The next decade may well be all about transport and smarter city solutions.”

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