Construction is routinely looked to as a marker for the economic health of a city or region. Our Real Estate Regional Crane Surveys highlight this link between development and prosperity, examining the external influences and key market drivers of city centre construction.
Time to build bolder
The construction of high-quality office space continued to drive development activity in Belfast in 2021 during another year of uncertainty.
Now in its sixth year, the Belfast Crane Survey showed that in total 23 major schemes were under construction or completed in 2021, slightly fewer than the 24 schemes in 2020 and the 26 being built in 2019.
Birmingham continues to grow at pace as the city centre sees a significant uptick in new construction activity especially in the residential and office sectors, compared to activity levels seen in 2020.
Birmingham is set for a stand out year in 2022 as it plays host to the Commonwealth Games. This is the time for Birmingham to shine, to demonstrate on a worldwide stage how far it has progressed over the past decade and to showcase some of its incredible developments.
Reach for the sky
Over 2021, the level of construction in Leeds was at a record breaking high. Twenty two new starts in total, the second highest number of new starts since records began in 2007.
Following valuable contributions by LeedsBID in 2021 to bring vibrancy and footfall back into the city centre, Leeds has much to look forward to with the Year of Culture 2023, which will see signature events and a range of experiences across the city that are set to enrich the city spaces and lives of Leeds residents and visitors. 2021 was a good year for Leeds in terms of development activity and looks set to continue for a number of years to come.
Buzzing with activity
Construction activity remains resilient in Manchester and Salford. Whilst the overall number of new starts in 2021 was consistent with 2020, there is a slight reduction in the volume of new homes, office space and hotel beds under construction.
These are signs of the market rebalancing after an intensive period of economic recovery from 2014 to 2019 and the resulting impact of the pandemic. However, the volume of construction over 2021 remains well above the long-term average.