Despite the political uncertainty surrounding Brexit and what economic implications that might have, construction output in England’s three key regional cities was hugely encouraging last year and is showing no signs of slowing up this year.
So impressive is the growth that in Manchester in particular, construction project numbers are now outperforming places like Los Angeles and Chicago, which would have seemed unthinkable in the past.
Although activity may have slowed down in the capital for commercial and residential activity, Britain’s biggest regional still boast a strong pipeline of projects for the foreseeable future. This can be attributed to the continued attraction to these areas by major businesses and investor confidence is high as a result of that.
This optimism and the healthy construction figures that are widely reported could be seen as surprising given the market uncertainty, but to have had this many significant construction starts over the last 12 months, is testament to the resilience of the regions and appetite for growth.
The residential sector is driving the record levels of development activity. A total of 14,480 residential units are under construction – double that of two years ago.
Last year, 2,569 units were delivered to market – the highest level in 12 years and Manchester’s development pipeline suggests 2020 as delivering the most homes in nearly 20 years.
The West Midlands city saw 23 new starts, with residential taking the lions share. Thirteen new schemes started, bringing the development pipeline to over 5,000 units under construction.
Last year also saw the delivery of the most residential units to the city centre, the highest since the Birmingham crane surveys started in 2002. Total office volume under construction remains high at 1.4 million sq ft and 2019 is set to be a record-breaking year for office completions.
Leeds has recorded the highest level of construction in the city centre since the Leeds crane survey began in 2002, with 21 new construction starts in 2018.
This includes seven new office schemes adding to the record 844,986 sq ft office development pipeline. Residential development continued an upward trajectory with three new starts, set to deliver a further 533 units to the city, bringing the total to 2,119 units currently under construction.
With office locations in each of the regions above, O'Neill & Brennan are perfectly placed to capitalise on this construction growth. If you're a candidate looking for work or a client that is need of personnel to service projects taking place in these areas, our dedicated localised teams would be delighted to discuss this with you.