Commercial Development continues 31 Month Rise

Posted on 16 April, 2015 by Cliff Goodwin

After rising continuously for 31 months the rate at which commercial schemes are being built in the UK has reached a 2015 high, claims a new survey.

Construction work site

Almost 15 per cent of developers reported an increase in commercial activity during March, a half-point rise on the February figure. “This indicated a marked rate of expansion that was the strongest since last December,” reported Savills’ latest Total Commercial Development Activity Index. “Growth of commercial projects has now been recorded for 31 successive months.”

The index — compiled from a monthly questionnaire to leading developers and contractors — reports that almost all those who took part expected commercial building projects to increase for the next three months, and possibly for the rest of the year. This positive sentiment was linked to client, confidence, low interest rates and improving economic conditions.

Developers also reported a faster increase in public office projects than private ones. The strongest rate of expansion, however, was in industrial and warehouse work which saw a March activity rise of 20.8 per cent. Overall the south east of England was rated the “fastest growing” region.

And according to Simon Collett, head of building and project consultancy at Savills, next month’s general election is having little effect on the commercial development market.

“Improving economic conditions across the whole of the UK is mirrored by an acceleration in both the rate of expansion and future optimism, suggesting that the possible uncertainty associated with the upcoming election has yet to materialise,” he commented.

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