How construction fared in the City this week
A lot of construction bosses must have been very good boys over the last year.

They’ve arrived back at work to see that Santa has delivered on their wishlist and managed to convince the City that their companies are worth investing in. Either that or the City was still sobering up last week and didn’t realise what it was doing.

Whatever the reason, most companies have started the year worth more than when they had their festive booze-ups. As one analyst said: “They won’t know what’s hit them. They go off on holiday for a week or two and the shares go up. Some will be thinking that they should have another holiday next week and the week after.”

Balfour Beatty and Amec enjoyed healthy gains of 12% and 9% last week and Mowlem’s share price jumped 8%.

Most of the housebuilders enjoyed more modest but no less heartening gains. These included Swan Hill, Berkeley, Crest Nicholson, Prowting and Persimmon. Only Country and Metropolitan and Galliford Try suffered falls, albeit minor ones.

Housebuilders have been boosted this week by news that house prices rose 3% in December, despite fears that the market was struggling.