Total GB construction output volume (at constant 2010 prices) in 2014 is forecast to grow by 4.9% compared to 2013, with further growth of 4.1% in 2015, according to the construction research specialist Leading Edge.

Meanwhile a strong end to 2013 is expected to mean real growth in output of around 2.0% for the year, which was previously expected to see a small decline.

Mel Budd, managing director at Leading Edge, said: “We’ve been forecasting a return to growth in 2014 for a while although the size of the turnaround is larger than we originally expected. The key sectors driving growth in 2014 will be housing, private commercial and infrastructure.”

Although housing and private commercial are still some way behind the peak levels of six or seven years ago, infrastructure output is powering ahead and is likely to see its second highest ever output level this year. The sector remains a priority to the government as a driver for economic growth and as there is a basic need to invest in expanding and upgrading utility and transport networks.

Mr Budd added: “New orders performed well in Q3 of 2013 in all sectors except public, where the spending cuts are still having an impact. We expect this pick up to feed through to output in 2014. London looks set to be the best performing region, although we are forecasting that all the regions will see some growth in 2014.

“Interestingly though, our analysis of expected regional performance between 2005 and 2015 shows that in real terms nine of the 11 regions will show a decline over this 10-year period, with only London and the east of England in growth.”

Leading Edge forecasts that total construction output in 2017, at £131,300m will be 2.3% higher than the 2007 peak of £128,310m.