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Yorkshire rises from the ashes towards above-average output surge

The region is expected to among the strongest performing over the coming years following years of severe contraction.

Greater London was the only UK region to register higher total construction output levels in 2012 when compared with 2007, before the financial crisis took hold.

Over this period, the capital posted annual average growth of 3.6 per cent. In contrast, the worst-performing region - Northern Ireland - saw annual average declines of 7.8 per cent.

Over the past five years, the Yorkshire & the Humber region has also performed poorly with overall construction output falling by an average of 5.5 per cent a year.

New work breakdown 2012 Yorkshire vs UK

However, in the three years to 2015 Experian expects to see a reversal of this trend with average annual growth in the region of 2.3 per cent, higher than the 1.7 per cent average for the UK.

Infrastructure drive

Of the new work sectors, the strongest expansion in the region is set to come from infrastructure, where annual average increases of 12 per cent are forecast over the three years to 2015.

Yorkshire and the Humber output all new work 2009 to 2015

One of the largest schemes planned is the A1 Leeming to Barton improvement, worth £340m. The project was cancelled in the aftermath of the 2010 election, but reinstated in the 2012 autumn statement. It is scheduled to begin in early 2014 and complete in 2016.

There are also plans for approximately £120m of managed motorway works on the M1 from junctions 39 to 42. By 2015, the sector is expected to hit record new output levels.

Private housing boom

There are also predictions for significant growth in Yorkshire & the Humber’s private housing market, with an annual average increase of 5.8 per cent.

Private housing is the only sector likely to experience growth this year. Further modest increases in output are predicted to be seen in 2014 and 2015 as we experience more of a sustained improvement in the UK economy.

Most of the regions in England are still feeling the negative impact of the scrapping of the Building Schools for the Future programme and Yorkshire & the Humber is no exception.

Non-residential contraction

The region’s public non-residential output is expected to contract in the three years to 2015 at an annual average rate of 12 per cent. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are also likely to suffer from cutbacks in public sector spending.

Average annual growth in output by region 2013-2015

The relatively low level of funding in the 2011-15 National Affordable Housing Programme compared with the 2008-11 programme is likely to lead to a second consecutive year of public housing output decline for Yorkshire & the Humber in 2013.

However, social housing providers are working hard to adapt their businesses to changes in public funding, and in the final two years of our forecast period we are expecting modest growth for the sector.

Yorkshire & the Humber’s overall construction market is expected to contract for a third consecutive year in 2013. However, the prospects for the following two years are for moderate growth driven primarily, but not entirely, by infrastructure works.

James Hastings is head of construction futures and Sonya Patel is an economist at Experian

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