Strong private housing growth only bright spot in latest ONS figures

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Construction output fell by 0.2% in November compared to the previous month, according to the latest ONS figures.

The fall came after a 0.9% month-on-month fall in October and a 0.8% contraction over the third quarter from July to September.

Despite the fall, private housebuilding continued to outperform all other sectors, rising 0.5% in November to hit its highest level since 2010.

However, commenting on the figures, Rebecca Larkin, senior economist at the Construction Products Association, predicted private housing’s good run was unlikely to continue at the same pace.

She said: “Economic and political uncertainty is expected to intensify this year and combined with rising inflation denting confidence, means we are unlikely to see similar growth rates in private housing in 2017.

“Public housing, on the other hand, increased 5.6% in November and whilst monthly data can be volatile, this could signal a pickup in public sector house building after activity has been disrupted by two years of changes to funding programmes.”