Figures reveal rise of 15% in private commercial orders despite drop in construction orders in last quarter

The overall number of orders for new construction fell by 5% in the last quarter but private commercial and social housing orders increased, according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics.

Orders in the three months to October 2009 fell by 5% compared with the previous three-month period, compared to a 6% rise in the previous quarter. However this still meant that orders were down by a fifth on the same quarter last year.

Private housing orders rose by 5% while private commercial orders rose by 15%, with figures for October showing the highest level in a year.

Public housing and commercial sectors showed a small drop in orders but both were higher in comparison to the same period last year.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at the RICS, commented on the increasing amount of resources allocated to repair and maintenance rather than new work: “Given continuing problems over securing development finance, and concerns about the historically low level of transaction activity in both the residential and commercial property markets, this trend is likely to persist into 2010.”