The figures also give cause for more optimism in the immediate future, with 19.2% more house projects reaching an advanced stage of planning in the year.
Housebuilding was the only sector showing significant growth against a background of a 5% downturn in construction overall, The Economic Construction and Market Review reveals, with industrial, medical/health, education and commercial/retail all declining.
Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said: “It is clear from our yearly figures that the Housebuilding sector was the main component of growth across 2016. Even after the initial shock of the Brexit vote, where many housebuilders share prices fell in excess of 20 per cent, this did not hamper activity with both the current and future pipelines of work remaining strong.
With important political decisions likely to come in 2017 that could have implications on construction activity, particularly in the commercial sector, it would seem that the future will be difficult to predict, as Britain’s trading position remains unclear for now.”
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