UK construction and property
- Modular disarray | The House of Lords Built Environment Committee has found that the government’s approach to modern methods of construction (MMC) is “in disarray”. It found that “millions of pounds of public money has been invested, but the money has not been backed by a coherent strategy and set of measurable objectives.” However, it also suggests that with the right approach, MMC could play a vital role in delivering housing.
- Architectural fees | In its most recent Future Trends report, the RIBA has warned that competition from unregistered “architectural designers” is driving down fees. It also voiced concerns at the increased number of clients who are not paying invoices on time, threatening cash flows.
- Construction finances | Begbies Traynor has reported that in Q4 2023, the number of construction firms at risk of collapse increased by 33% to 7,849. In the Real Estate and Property Services sector, the figure increased by 25%.
- Insolvencies | Accountancy firm Mazars has produced an analysis showing that 17% of all construction companies became insolvent last year, with “on average a dozen building companies going under every single day.”
- Hinkley delays | EDF has warned that Hinkley Point C is expected to cost an additional £10bn, and will be delivered three years late, after completing the design for the fitout. It explained that 15 months of the delay was due to the pandemic, that “restarting the British nuclear industry has been hard” and changing the design to meet British regulation has meant “7,000 design changes, 35% more steel and 25% more concrete.”
- Infrastructure funding | The government has allocated an additional £1.3bn to the construction of Sizewell C. It is the largest funding package to date and will help the project to stay on schedule, allowing early construction works to continue ahead of a final investment decision later this year.
- HS2 | Major earthworks have begun at Birmingham’s Curzon Street Station, preparing the site for piling and foundations in the spring.
- Output | The Construction Products Association has forecast output to fall 2.1% in 2024 and suggests that the fall in the housing market is worse than previously expected. In its last forecast it was forecasting 0.7% growth..