Residential construction in pick up

There’s news on two different fronts this week to show that Ireland’s construction deficit which built up during the recession is being addressed, vitally in the case of residential building and office supply.

Residential construction edged in pole position as the most active section of the building industry in November, according to this week’s Ulster Bank Purchasing Managers Index (PMI).

It noted the sharpest rise in employment since February with strong growth in activity during November, supported by a further sharp increase in new orders.

November’s activity levels were “at a pace slightly ahead of the average seen in the sector’s three-year recovery to date,” according to UB Chief Economist Simon Barry, who said that rising workloads had encouraged companies to up their rate of job creation and to increase purchasing activity.

“There was a very encouraging further acceleration in residential activity which took the Housing PMI to its highest level since February, in the process leaving housing as the strongest performing activity category last month,” said Mr Barry, adding “this is further welcome evidence of sustained, solid expansion in an area where strong performance is badly needed given the housing supply shortfall.”

And, in the week in which the Government said it would carry out a study of Irish house build costs, the PMI noted “the rate of input cost inflation quickened for the second month running in November and was the fastest since August 2015. The latest rise was also sharper than the series average.”

Meanwhile, the Construction Industry Federation this week, with recruitment firm Hays Ireland, has launched the new ‘Return to Ireland’ recruitment campaign, with website and online seminars December 19-20, to encourage the return of overseas professionals, especially in the construction sector such as engineers architects, surveyors, project managers.

Target counties for emigrants include the USA, UAE, Australia, Canada and elsewhere.


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