Gareth Belsham, director of the national property consultancy and surveyors Naismiths, commented:
“No other industry can match construction for the sheer white-knuckle severity of its decline, and then meteoric recovery.
“After coming to a halt for much of the second quarter, output across the industry rocketed by 41.7% in the third quarter of the year, and it continues to grow faster than any other sector of the economy.
“The industry as a whole remains 7.3% adrift of its pre-pandemic level, but its two hottest subsectors – private housebuilding and infrastructure – have now rebounded completely.
“With the Prime Minister putting construction front and centre of his recovery plan, the industry is stepping up admirably. With work now underway on a swathe of new infrastructure projects, infrastructure output was 1.8% higher in September than it was in February.
“Meanwhile housebuilders are being deluged with demand. New orders from private sector developers doubled during the third quarter, rising by a gravity-defying 102.9% compared to the second quarter of the year.
“Separate data from the latest PMI survey showed that order books are now fuller than at any time since the pre-Brexit December 2015, suggesting that housebuilders aren’t just busy now, they’re piling up orders for the future too.
“All this is leading to some growing pains, with the supply chain struggling to keep up with demand for certain key building materials.
“Impressive though it is, the recovery is slowing and is still from complete. It’s also heavily reliant on the white hot growth of the residential sector, but with socially distant construction work able to continue as usual during England’s second lockdown, the industry is battling on.”