New figures from the Office for National Statistics show that construction output dropped by 1.7 per cent in February this year, the largest fall in monthly growth since October 2019.

The ONS says that this may be because of the weather in February, which was the wettest seen since records began in 1862.

Poor figures were seen in private housing new work, too, which fell 7.7 per cent on January’s figures, which is the second-largest fall in monthly growth in a decade – with only January 2018 being worse, at 8 per cent.

On a quarterly basis, construction output dropped by 0.2 per cent, driven, the ONS says, by a 1.7 per cent fall in repair and maintenance.

Within this, there was a 5.6 per cent fall in repair and maintenance in private housing over the quarter, with the numbers for public housing and non-housing repair growing 2.2 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively.

Spicerhaart Part-Exchange and Assisted Move business development director Neil Knight says: “Although we came into the month on the back of steady growth, contractors have been mothballing sites and furloughing staff in waves throughout March. Next month’s figures are likely to paint an even gloomier picture as the impact bites further.

“Times are undoubtedly hard, but we all need to hold our nerve: even though the lockdown seems set to continue for a while yet, it is only temporary. We are expecting to see demand for new homes increase strongly in the months and years to follow.”

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