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UK Construction market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Construction: Inc Impact of COVID-19 - UK market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

Construction is a major element of the UK economy, typically accounting for 6% of total economic output. Parts of the sector have suffered in recent years from an element of economic uncertainty that surrounded the Brexit decision. That was due to finally be ended with some clarity on any potential trade deal with the EU by December 2020. However, international economies have been devastated in Q2 2020 by the impact of COVID-19. As at mid-April 2020, there is no certainty that those social distancing measures in the UK will be concluded in Q2. This is leading to huge variations in expectations of the wider economy and has led to equally huge uncertainty across different construction sectors.

All reports purchased from the Mintel Store now come with free access to our COVID-19 Global Insights Hub, allowing you to understand how industries and consumer behaviour is changing worldwide.


What does the COVID-19 Global Insights Hub give you access to?

  • Over 450 pieces of research (with more published each week) addressing markets across the globe.
  • Discover how people in countries at different stages of the crisis are adjusting to the 'new normal'.
  • Trending industries which have seen growth due to the changes in circumstance.
  • Our latest consumer research surveys, allowing you to see customers views right now.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Terry Leggett, a leading analyst in the B2B sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

For many construction sectors the impact of COVID-19 is likely to be temporary, if severe, but the areas of office and retail construction are likely to have major long-term negative impacts from more permanent changes to lifestyles. Warehouse construction on the other hand is likely to have a long-term boost, while further sectors such as entertainment-based construction face uncertainty waiting to see how people react when social distancing restrictions are lifted Terry Leggett
Senior B2B Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Sectors covered in this Report
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Sector growth impacted first by Brexit, now by COVID-19
                • Figure 1: Forecast construction market compared with expectations prior to COVID-19, 2019-24
              • Temporary impact on housing, but Government targets are challenging
                • Figure 2: Forecast new housing construction market compared with expectations prior to COVID-19, 2019-24
              • Commercial construction strongly disrupted by COVID-19
                • Figure 3: Forecast new commercial construction market compared with expectations prior to COVID-19, 2019-24
              • COVID-19 has mixed impact on industrial construction
                • Figure 4: Forecast new industrial construction market compared with expectations prior to COVID-19, 2019-24
              • Public non-residential construction subject to change in government attitude
                • Figure 5: Forecast new public non-residential construction market compared with expectations prior to COVID-19, 2019-24
              • Short term impact of COVID-19 on R&M
                • The impact of COVID-19 on construction
                  • Figure 6: Expected impact of COVID-19 on construction short, medium and long-term, 29 April 2020
                • Companies and brands
                  • An unusual industry structure
                    • Figure 7: Number of companies active in construction, 2014-18
                    • Figure 8: Composition of the main trades sector, 2018 (number of companies)
                  • The importance of sole traders and micro companies
                    • Figure 9: Employment profile of the construction industry, by size of company, 2018 (000s employed)
                  • What we think
                  • The Impact of COVID-19 on Construction

                    • Short, medium and long-term impact on the industry
                      • Figure 10: Expected impact of COVID-19 on construction short, medium and long-term, 29 April 2020
                    • Opportunities and threats
                      • Impact on the construction market
                          • Figure 11: Forecast construction market compared with expectations prior to COVID-19, 2019-24
                        • How a COVID-19 recession will reshape the construction industry
                          • COVID-19: UK context
                          • Issues and Insights

                            • How will post-COVID-19 demand for construction change?
                              • The facts
                                • The implications – offices
                                  • The implications – retail
                                    • The implications – entertainment
                                      • The implications – warehousing
                                        • The implications – public spending
                                          • The implications – housing
                                            • The implications – R&M
                                            • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                              • Construction has a volatile reputation
                                                • COVID-19 will have very sector-specific long-term impact
                                                  • Public spending change in attitude
                                                  • Market Size

                                                    • Doubling of growth in 2019
                                                      • Figure 12: The construction market, 2015-19
                                                      • Figure 13: Comparison of new construction and R&M output, 2015-19
                                                  • Market Segmentation

                                                    • Sector-specific development
                                                      • Figure 14: Segmentation of new construction activity, 2019 (£ billion)
                                                      • Figure 15: Segmentation of R&M activity, 2019 (£ billion)
                                                  • Segmentation: Housing

                                                    • Private sector growth continued to slow in 2019
                                                      • Figure 16: Segmentation of new housing construction output, 2015-19
                                                      • Figure 17: Housing completions, by sector, 1946-2019
                                                    • Years of fragmented policies
                                                      • Unusual supply profile
                                                        • Figure 18: Housing output segmented by size of company and target market, 2019
                                                    • Segmentation: Commercial

                                                      • A sector susceptible to recessions
                                                        • Figure 19: Long-term trend in private commercial construction, 1970-2019
                                                      • Output slipped in 2018 with some recovery in 2019
                                                        • Figure 20: Commercial construction output, 2015-19
                                                      • Sector trends varying
                                                        • Figure 21: Segmentation of commercial construction output, 2015-19 (£ million)
                                                      • Micro and medium-sized companies have a strong role
                                                        • Figure 22: Commercial construction output segmented by size of company, 2019
                                                    • Segmentation: Industrial

                                                      • Strong growth again
                                                        • Figure 23: Long-term trend in private industrial construction, 1970-2019
                                                      • Brexit induced growth?
                                                        • Figure 24: Industrial construction output, 2015-19
                                                      • Warehousing boosted by Brexit
                                                        • Figure 25: Segmentation of industrial construction output, 2015-19
                                                      • The SME opportunity
                                                        • Figure 26: Industrial construction output segmented by size of company, 2019
                                                    • Segmentation: Public Non-residential

                                                      • Spending restraint
                                                        • Figure 27: Long-term trend in public non-residential construction, 1970-2019
                                                      • Government policy changing
                                                        • Figure 28: Public non-residential construction output, 2015-19
                                                      • Growing education and health spending
                                                        • Figure 29: Segmentation of public non-residential construction output, 2015-19 (£ million)
                                                      • Enterprises lead the market
                                                        • Figure 30: Public non-residential construction output segmented by size of company, 2019
                                                    • Segmentation: R&M

                                                      • Overall activity
                                                        • Figure 31: R&M output, 2015-19
                                                      • Private housing R&M
                                                        • Market plateauing
                                                          • Figure 32: Private housing R&M output, 2015-19
                                                        • The micro-company mainstay
                                                          • Figure 33: Private housing R&M output segmented by size of company, 2019
                                                        • Public housing R&M
                                                          • Government policy restricts market
                                                            • Figure 34: Public housing R&M output, 2015-19
                                                          • Enterprises command largest market share
                                                            • Figure 35: Public housing R&M output segmented by size of company, 2019
                                                          • Non-residential private R&M
                                                            • Reduced growth in 2019
                                                              • Figure 36: Private non-residential R&M output, 2015-19
                                                            • Micro-companies take pole position
                                                              • Figure 37: Private non-residential R&M output segmented by size of company, 2019
                                                            • Non-residential public R&M
                                                              • 2019 market growth
                                                                • Figure 38: Public non-residential R&M output, 2015-19
                                                              • All industry sectors involved
                                                                • Figure 39: Public non-residential R&M output segmented by size of company, 2019
                                                            • Market Forecast

                                                              • COVID-19 to strongly reduce activity in 2020
                                                                • Figure 40: Forecast construction market compared with expectations prior to COVID-19, 2020-24
                                                              • Housing – Government targets are challenging
                                                                  • Figure 41: Forecast new housing construction market compared with expectations prior to COVID-19, 2020-24
                                                                • Commercial construction has long-term impact from COVID-19
                                                                  • Figure 42: Forecast new commercial construction market compared with expectations prior to COVID-19, 2020-24
                                                                • Mixed fortunes for industrial construction, post COVID-19
                                                                  • Figure 43: Forecast new industrial construction market compared with expectations prior to COVID-19, 2020-24
                                                                • Public non-residential construction to grow after COVID-19 impact
                                                                  • Figure 44: Forecast new public non-residential construction market compared with expectations prior to COVID-19, 2019-24
                                                                • Short term impact of COVID-19 on R&M
                                                                    • Figure 45: Forecast R&M construction market compared with expectations prior to COVID-19, 2020-24
                                                                • The Impact of the Economy

                                                                  • UK GDP flat in Q4
                                                                    • Figure 46: UK GDP growth rate, 2012-19
                                                                  • COVID-19 could cause record fall in economy
                                                                    • Figure 47: Range of forecasts of the COVID-19 impact on the economy, 2020
                                                                  • Business investment and confidence suffering before COVID-19
                                                                    • Figure 48: UK business investment, £ million, Q1 2015-Q4 2019
                                                                    • Figure 49: UK ICT investment, £ million, Q1 2015-Q4 2019
                                                                    • Figure 50: ICAEW UK National Business ConfidenceTM index, Q1 2014-Q1 2020
                                                                • Market Trends

                                                                  • The environment
                                                                    • New methods, materials and off-site locations
                                                                      • Robotics
                                                                        • Use of SMEs
                                                                          • Digitalisation
                                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                                            • Economic uncertainty, Brexit then COVID-19
                                                                              • Government policies
                                                                                • Skills shortages
                                                                                • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                  • A very unusual industry structure
                                                                                    • Huge disparity in profitability
                                                                                      • Industry reacts to expectations
                                                                                        • The skills issue
                                                                                        • Industry Structure

                                                                                          • Growth in numbers
                                                                                            • Figure 51: Number of companies active in construction, 2014-18
                                                                                          • The industry composition
                                                                                            • Figure 52: Composition of the main trades sector, 2018 (number of companies)
                                                                                            • Figure 53: Composition of Individual trades, 2018 (number of companies)
                                                                                          • The importance of sole traders and micro companies
                                                                                            • Figure 54: Employment profile of the construction industry, by size of company, 2018 (000s employed)
                                                                                        • Competitive Strategies

                                                                                          • Many issues to tackle
                                                                                          • Company Profiles

                                                                                            • Balfour Beatty
                                                                                              • Activity
                                                                                                • Performance
                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Financial performance of Balfour Beatty, 2015-19 (£ million)
                                                                                                • Strategy
                                                                                                  • Barratt Developments
                                                                                                    • Activity
                                                                                                      • Performance
                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Financial performance of Barratt Developments, 2015-19 (£ million)
                                                                                                        • Figure 57: House completions by Barratt Developments, by region, 2018-19
                                                                                                        • Figure 58: House completions by Barratt Developments, by unit type, 2018-19
                                                                                                        • Figure 59: House completions by Barratt Developments, by deal type, 2018-19
                                                                                                      • Strategy
                                                                                                        • Interserve Group
                                                                                                          • Activity
                                                                                                            • Performance
                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Financial performance of Interserve Group, 2014-18 (£ million)
                                                                                                            • Strategy
                                                                                                              • Kier Group
                                                                                                                • Activity
                                                                                                                  • Performance
                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Financial performance of Kier Group, 2015-19 (£ million)
                                                                                                                  • Strategy
                                                                                                                    • Persimmon
                                                                                                                      • Activity
                                                                                                                        • Performance
                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Financial performance of Persimmon, 2015-19 (£ million)
                                                                                                                        • Strategy
                                                                                                                          • Taylor Wimpey
                                                                                                                            • Activity
                                                                                                                              • Performance
                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Financial performance of Taylor Wimpey, 2015-19 (£ million)
                                                                                                                              • Strategy
                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                    • Methodology

                                                                                                                                    About the report

                                                                                                                                    This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer

                                                                                                                                      What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                                                                                                    • The Competitors

                                                                                                                                      Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                                                                                                    • The Market

                                                                                                                                      Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                                                                                                    • The Innovations

                                                                                                                                      New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                                                                                                    • The Opportunities

                                                                                                                                      Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                                                                                                    • The Trends

                                                                                                                                      What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                    Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

                                                                                                                                    Description