By Legal Futures Associate Search Acumen 
- Monthly construction output increased by 2.0% in volume terms in December 2021; this came solely from an increase in new work (3.5%) as repair and maintenance saw a decline of 0.7% on the month.
- The level of construction output in December 2021 was 0.3% (£35 million) above the February 2020 pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic level; new work was 2.0% (£190 million) below the February 2020 level, while repair and maintenance work was 4.5% (£225 million) above the February 2020 level.
“December’s figures highlight how the construction sector has risen to the challenge of continued buyer demand as the year came to a close. Developers, building and construction firms have responded well, with the gap between supply and demand fuelling higher house prices and enabling them to combat continued supply chain and labour pressures on the sector.
“Another headwind is the ongoing cladding crisis that requires important attention and resource from the sector. However, company updates demonstrate how housebuilders are continuing to direct funds to address this urgent challenge while continuing to build new homes to meet heightened demand. While there are significant considerations for consumers in terms of the increase in UK interest rates combined with the overall rising costs of living, we do expect to continue to see waves of people who are reconsidering their living conditions post-pandemic with the view of relocating to properties more compatible with the new-normal.
“It is imperative for all parts of the property sector to fire on all cylinders to meet high levels of demand. For example, property lawyers and conveyancers will need to adopt more efficient ways of working to speed up transaction timings and reduce inaccuracies and subsequent delays. For this, we encourage the property industry to turn to technology, data and automated processes to increase efficiencies, and save valuable time for more strategic support for customers and clients.”