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Robust increase in total commercial activity in U.K.

Staff writer |
Down from February's survey high of +35.7% to +30.6% in March, the headline Total Commercial Development Activity Index indicated a slower, albeit still robust, pace of growth.

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Activity Index is a net balance monitoring the overall performance of the UK commercial property sector.

Both public and private commercial projects expanded at weaker rates, with the respective net balances dropping from +12.8% and +48.9% in the previous month to +9.7% and +42.7%.

March data indicated that growth was broad-based by sector, with all nine monitored categories posting higher activity. The sharpest rise was again noted in private new build.

UK commercial developers remained optimistic about the prospects for activity growth in three months' time during March. A net balance of +30.0% of panellists anticipate higher commercial projects, compared with +34.9% in February.

Survey respondents linked positive sentiment to a stronger economy, increased enquiry numbers, low interest rates and improved client confidence.

Private retail & leisure activity rose at the strongest rate in the history of the series. The net balance climbed from +26.9% in February to +32.0%. At +42.1% in March, the net balance for private new build activity was little-changed from February's survey high of +43.0%.

All three monitored regions posted higher commercial activity in March, as has been the case in each of the past 19 months. The strongest increase was again registered in the South East, followed by the "Rest of UK" and London respectively.

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