But June review reveals total value of work down 

Project starts increased by almost a tenth in the three months to May, according to Glenigan.

The construction industry analyst’s June Construction Review reported a 9% increase in underlying starts over the period.

The rise comes on the back of a strong pipeline of planning approvals and contract awards, which has been building up over the past year.

Construction site

Projects starts were on the up in the three months to May, Glenigan said

The three months to May also saw a 13% rise in detailed planning approvals against the previous three months, although main contract awards were down 18% against the previous year.

Glenigan’s economic director Allan Wilen said the uptick pointed to “promising signs of recovery” for construction, as the sector “continues to reap the rewards of a strong development pipeline of contract awards built up since the pandemic”.

While underlying project starts were up, the overall value of work commencing fell 5% to £6.54bn – a full 22% lower than the same three months in 2021.

Project starts worth more than £100m accounted for much of this decline, dropping 32% against the previous three months and 31% against the same period last year. Major contract awards also fell year-on-year by a steep 49%.

In the residential sector, project starts rose 24% against the preceding three months, largely driven by private housing (+45%).

But the value of both overall residential (-24%) and private housing (-23%) projects starts was down on the previous year nonetheless.

Social housing starts performed poorly – 32% down year on year – as did much of the non-residential sector, where office project starts fared the best, up 27% during the three months to May.


Your one-stop-shop for the all the latest price changes and trends in the building materials, energy, housing and construction labour markets.

Building’s trends and prices data dashboard pulls together figures from 14 different datasets into easy-to-use line graphs, bar charts and animated visualisations.

Click here to access 

Retail (1%) and health (8%) registered modest growth on the preceding three months but failed to improve on the previous year – retail declining a full 17%.

Civil engineering was down 25% on last year and 5% on the preceding three months, largely due to a fall in utilities project starts, while infrastructure was down 24% and 6% respectively.

After a strong start to the year, project starts in hotel and leisure dropped precipitously in the three months to May, plummeting 30%.

The South-east posted the strongest regional results – with project starts valued at 30% higher than the previous three months, despite being 2% below 2021 output levels.

Wales and the South-west also performed well, while the North-east faltered on its strong start to the year, project starts falling 18% against the preceding months.