Whilst quarterly project starts are expected to remain volatile, the hotel and lesiure sector is forecast to benefit from a 16% rise in the value of underlying project starts over the coming year, according to Glenigan.
The budget hotel chains may have moderated their investment activity over the last year, but they have not scaled back their stated ambitions for expansion as economic conditions improve. Moreover, preparations for the London Olympics continue to support the sector over the coming months with, for instance, work now underway on the Velodrome.
Several other large projects should also help boost construction starts during 2010. Obviously, the fallout from the economic downturn will continue to create downside risks for the sector. As with retail construction, the sector’s fortunes are closely aligned to the household income growth and confidence. Weak earnings growth and a higher tax burden, in particular higher VAT and excise duties, will accordingly act as a brake on sector growth activity.