September was construction's second busiest month of the year.
The value of new construction contracts in September reached £5.6billion, a 6.1% fall from August's record for the year but still the second-best performing month of 2018 so far, according to the latest edition of the Economic & Construction Market Review from industry analyst Barbour ABI.
The largest contract was the £187.5million 10 Bank Street mixed-use development in London, almost double the value of the second largest project. And with three of the four largest projects in September being in London, the capital once again accounted for the largest share of contracts awarded (18.2% of them), followed by the South East with a 15.3% share and then the North West with 13.1%.
Across the construction sector as a whole in September, commercial and retail projects were the best performers with £814million-worth of contracts placed, the sector's best month since July 2016. Of these, 75% were office-led. They included the £60million Lidl Headquarters in Chessington.
Infrastructure and residential, the two largest sectors of construction, both saw decreased – by 11.7% for infrastructure and 5.9% for residential – compared with August.
Commenting on the figures, Michael Dall, Lead Economist at Barbour ABI, said: “The past three months have seen a renaissance for commercial and retail construction, with various large projects commissioned and a growing flow of confidence back into the sub-sector.
"However, industrial was the only other sub-sector to see any sort of growth in September. Bigger sectors such as infrastructure and residential are struggling to break the monthly £2billion contract value barrier consistently, an achievement that was found more regularly in 2017.”