Belfast Telegraph

House building in Northern Ireland helps construction grow

By John Mulgrew

House building in Northern Ireland has led to overall growth in the construction industry here, a new survey has shown.

But while a majority of those quizzed in the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) and Tughans Northern Ireland Construction Market Survey reported a rise in private house construction in the last three months, infrastructure work fell sharply.

The poll was carried out after the EU referendum on June 23.

A net balance of 56% of surveyors here reported a rise in private housing building. Northern Ireland was the only region of the UK in which the balance of surveyors reported a decline in infrastructure workloads.

And while the "overall report is pointing to rising construction activity" those surveyors questioned also highlighted "concern about the potential impact of Brexit on some investment plans in the construction sector", according to Jim Sammon, Rics spokesman.

A number of major housing schemes are now in the works.

That includes almost 400 new homes in Coleraine, a further 800 in Londonderry as part of a £100m development, and Fraser Homes hopes to build 1,000 properties off Movilla Road in Newtownards.

Michael McCord, construction partner at Tughans Solicitors, said the latest survey "chimes with the anecdotal evidence from the market, where there have been a range of residential development schemes coming forward locally".

There was a 30% boost in registered new homes in Northern Ireland, from 2,487 to 3,223 in 2015, the National House Building Council said.

However, in the most recent quarter in 2016, there was a fall in new home starts of 5% from 762 to 721.

Belfast Telegraph

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