Building tenders fall lower despite output stabilisation

The price of new construction work fell another 4% in the second quarter of this year, and is 11.7% down on the same quarter last year. Since a peak in prices in late 2007, prices have fallen 13.1%, with BCIS predicting that they still have a further 3.3% to go over the next year, before starting to recover in 2011.

The main driver for declining tender prices has been the increased competition in the market caused by the steep drop off in orders and the consequential decline in new work output. Despite new work output stabilising in Q2 compared with Q1, it remains 14% lower than a year ago, and although construction orders saw a quarterly rise of 25%, they also fell by 14% compared with the same quarter in 2008.

"It is clear from the latest tender prices that the recession is really taking its toll on the construction industry, and despite new orders appearing to have experienced a small turn around in fortunes, it is unlikely that we will see this reflected in prices for some time," said Joe Martin, Executive Director of BCIS.

"The next year will remain tough and with new work output expected to fall in 2009 and 2010 as a whole tenders will continue to edge downwards, although at a slower pace. The fact that cost pressures are expected to remain less of an issue will be of small consolation to those contractors who are seeing their margins getting ever smaller as they compete to stay in business."

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