Overview of construction in the UK throughout 2020

This year, construction companies across the United Kingdom have experienced unanticipated growth. Although this industry is usually steadfast, the rates of growth have fluctuated greatly throughout the year. At the beginning of the pandemic, many companies halted projects because of the uncertainty of finances. After a while, building was considered an essential service. As companies gained foresight and stability, they activated the projects they had previously put on hold. This line of work has continued to expand while others have been on lockdown.There are many different considerations that are factored into the fluctuating numbers. In this article, we will share an overview of the construction that has taken place this year.

Private Housing
At the beginning of 2020, the private housing industry was rapidly expanding. The new construction projects being developed were robust and expansive. During the first portion of the year, the output of construction companies continued to grow exponentially before diminishing in August. As the winter months approach, home builders are finding ways to improve their output in the midst of uncertainty. Not only are residential properties seeing growth, the price of real estate is increasing consistently each year. With the push of remote work, the current demand for residential property is high while the supply of houses is low. With this trend, the United Kingdom is beginning to complete more new construction. In fact, the number of new homes being built is higher than it has been in almost thirty years. Even at this rapid pace of development, homes are being purchased quickly. In addition to houses, there are more condos, apartments, and townhomes that are being renovated to accommodate a greater number of people. Since construction is an essential business, workers are finding ways to complete upcoming tasks in a timely fashion. As 2021 evolves, it is expected that more homes will hit the real estate market and more new construction will be completed to accommodate the growing population.

Public Building
Unfortunately, the construction being done in public sectors has decreased much more rapidly than it has in the private home sector. Since corporations are operating lean budgets and commuters are working from home, there is less incentive to get jobs done in a proper time frame. In the first six months of the year, the public sector had many jobs that were in queue. Some of these major projects have been eliminated due to the rising number of remote workers. Companies are waiting to evaluate their office requirements based on the amount of people that will return to the space on a full-time basis. Currently, many of the assignments completed in public spaces are centered around maintenance and repair rather than new construction.

As more reports come out about the benefits of in-person workspaces, it is expected that public building will increase again. Specifically, companies are planning to create offices that have an open concept that allows for flexibility and collaboration. In addition, the demand for public building varies greatly between cities. In reality, the following cities are expecting to see growth over the next 12 months:

  • London
  • Manchester
  • Liverpool
  • Nottingham
  • Bristol

Since these cities have continued to extend over the last three years, the uncertainty of 2020 has not handled their ability to thrive.

With all facts considered, the continuation of the pandemic will be a determinant of the rise of public construction projects in the coming months. The success of the future greatly depends on the slowing of the spread of the virus. In addition, it is reliant on the financial success of investors. If all continues to progress as expected, the following industries are expected to engage in robust construction endeavours:

  • Supply Chain Management
  • Supermarket Chains
  • Airports

Supply chain and supermarket brands have seen success throughout the pandemic and will likely expand their services as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the expansion of airports and airlines will only be possible if the travel industry returns to normal.

Areas of Anticipated Growth
Although the rates of growth have fluctuated across the market, there are some sectors that are consistently expanding. One of the main sectors that is expected to grow exponentially within the construction industry is the artificial intelligence division, which is focusing on maximising safety, minimising cost, and optimising scheduling.

Amidst some of the construction being done residentially and corporately, there are a few significant endeavours that have provided jobs to people across the UK. Some of the projects being developed include:

  • Crossrails
  • Underwater Tunnel
  • High Speed Railway
  • Airport Expansion

These large construction projects are helping to improve the means of transportation across the country. With the reality of the pandemic, many people are hoping to have more robust forms of public transportation that allow them to maintain distance from other passengers.

Forecast for the Future
Although rates have fluctuated, the amount of construction being done across the country is still growing at a faster rate than it was in 2017. Although some projects have slowed, the industry is continuing to move in a positive direction. Already, the rates of expansion are rising and will continue to do so in the coming years, specifically with residential construction. People are looking to escape to peaceful neighbourhoods that are outside of the city limits.

The growth of the construction industry is largely beneficial because it helps employ a vast number of individuals. There are over 2.2 million construction workers employed across the United Kingdom. If this market suffered from a massive decline, a large percentage of the population would be unemployed. Because of this reality, many investors and companies are fighting to continue their growth and development in new construction initiatives.

Another industry that is expanding across the country is healthcare. Due to this shift, healthcare construction will be in high demand. In addition, people across the United Kingdom are hopeful that 2021 will present opportunities to launch new businesses. If this is the case, the demand for quality construction will grow. If you are looking to keep up with relevant industry news, monitor the updates submitted through the UK Construction Blog.