Skip index shows signs of improvement in construction output
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The ‘Skip Score’ form RICS looks at the number of licenses councils issued per 100,000 people across England and Wales, covering both small-scale residential and commercial developments.
Councils in England and Wales provided data on the number of skips licences between October 2012 and January 2014 to create an overview of the SME construction activity in these areas.
The Skip score which is similar to the ‘Crane Index’, which indicates levels of construction activity by the number of cranes dominating the skylines.
The ‘Skip Score’ measures the number of skips on public roads across England and Wales and is regarded as a good barometer for construction SME activity in England and Wales.
The economy is now officially out of recession and UK Housing Repair and Maintenance (R&M) activity forecast predicted to grow 2% this year and 4% in 2015.
Skips are a positive indication that homeowners are increasingly confident about investing in the repair and/or renovation of their homes.
Alan Muse who is the Director of Built Environment at RICS, commented :“Skips are a very visible indicator of the health of small and independent construction firms and a good bellwether for the wider economy. During the downturn many will have noticed a dip in the number of skips on our streets as households reigned in spending, but it is very clear that skips are back as consumer confidence returns. Our Skip Score shows where the hotspots are across the country, including some surprising results. The recovery is clearly not just confined to London, which is good news for this vital part of the construction industry and the wider rebalancing of the economy.”
The latest RICS Residential Market Survey confirmed that, the average number of houses sold per chartered surveyor jumped to its highest level in six years during the first three months of 2014 which with the other indicators of growth put the construction industry on a level footing.