UK commercial building activity hits five-month high

UK commercial building activity hits five-month high

The UK commercial building sector has grown for the 32nd consecutive month led by the South East and London.

Commercial building activity hit a five-month high in May, according to the latest Savills commercial development index.

A net balance of +18.1% of commercial developers reported an increase in activity over the month, up from +13.1% in April. Savills' data indicated growth accelerated quickly in the South East, while the rest of the country experienced moderate growth.

The fastest growth was recorded for private retail and leisure projects, with a net balance of +21.7%, the highest result for nearly a year. Meanwhile, public sector work, which fell in the month preceding the UK general election, returned to growth in May.

Savills' index reported growth in eight of the nine categories monitored, with only public office projects reporting a decline.

Simon Collett, head of building and project consultancy at Savills, said: Tthe post-election bounce back has been faster than expected, particularly for the retail sector, which has also benefited from the pick up in occupational activity seen beyond London."

On balance +19.7% of commercial developers forecast activity levels to improve over the next three months.

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