UK construction and property
- Payment terms | Analysis by Construction Enquirer of submissions to the Government’s Duty to Report on Payment Practices and Performance has revealed the industry’s fastest-paying contractors. However, the self-reporting style, and that it is based on the number of invoices, rather than value, have raised concerns over the accuracy of reporting.
- Plant sales | Data from the Construction Equipment Association shows that retail sales of construction and earthmoving equipment were almost 9% lower in 2023 than a year earlier.
- Infrastructure pipeline | The government published its National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline which details £775bn of spending over the next 10 years over 660 projects. It had been expected at some point in 2023. It confirms that the HS2 link from Old Oak Common to Euston will be built with no public funding. Energy will receive the largest funding, amounting to almost £316bn.
- European investment | The latest European Capital Trends Report from MSCI Real Assets shows that the UK office sector remains as Europe’s largest investment market despite a 42% fall in overall transaction volumes. Investment in European commercial real estate overall fell last year to the lowest level since 2012 due to higher interest rates.
- Surveyor confidence | The latest survey from RICS showed some increase in optimism amongst surveyors, despite lower levels of activity. Infrastructure workloads continued to grow, and house building reported a further decline. However, trends were becoming less negative overall.
- Power grid | Octopus Energy is discussing plans with Ofgem to build its own electricity pylons, challenging the National Grid’s 30-year monopoly on the power network. The announcement comes as Octopus warns that it may move billions of pounds of investment overseas unless the UK overhauls its power grid, claiming that it currently faces long delays in connecting projects to the National Grid.