Rise in construction output masks fall in domestic work, says FMB

Construction workers collaborating on new house building

The 2% rise in construction output in December last year is positive but masks a decline in domestic building work which could dampen new work in 2022, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to the release of ONS Construction Output Data.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said: “While it’s promising to see a 3.5% increase in new work during December 2021, many local builders remain fearful that increased costs facing consumers will precede a downturn in building projects during 2022. As the cost-of-living increases, consumers have less disposable income to upgrade their homes and it will be the small construction firms that will suffer the most.

Berry continued: “SME builders have dealt with sharp increases in the cost of materials, as well as facing skills shortages, exacerbated by Brexit and the Covid pandemic. This puts builders in the unenviable position of having to raise prices for a customer base that are tightening their belts.

Berry concluded: “The UK’s small builders are vital to local economies and will be crucial to delivering levelling up, so we hope to see policy measures introduced to ensure the sector continues to stay buoyant during what will be another turbulent year.”