Buildings completed continued to plunge in February, figures show
CAPE TOWN - BUILDINGS completed, as measured in real terms, fell a further 40.2 percent year-on-year in February following January’s -46 percent plunge, Statistics SA data showed.
Completions in the non-residential sector of the market, which has been adversely affected by the pandemic, declined by -59.5 percent y/y, while residential building completions slid by -21.8 percent y/y.
Investec economist Lara Hodes said yesterday in a statement that the first quarter 2021 performance thus far was in line with the results of the BER’s first quarter building survey, which saw confidence among players in the building sector move further into depressed territory.
Ninety percent of respondents to the BER survey from the non-residential segment were dissatisfied with prevailing conditions. Lack of demand as well as shortages of raw materials were cited as key constraints.
As a result of depressed activity, tendering competition rose to the highest level on record, placing pressure on margins. Building plans passed for the non-residential sector, a measure of future activity, rose in February, but the figures were volatile and year-to-date were still down over -9 percent.
A rebound in growth and investment, supported by a pick-up in confidence hinged largely on the timeous, successful rollout of the vaccine.