According industry monitoring firm Glenigan, detailed planning approvals in the third quarter of the year were up 12% on the second quarter and 32% ahead of 2022 levels.
This sign of construction work coming down the line offers a ray of hope for green shoots of recovery, Glenigan suggest.
Meanwhile, in the here and now, starts on site remained weak throughout Q3, down 9% on Q2 and falling by almost 40% compared to last year.
Main contract awards in the third quarter were 27% down on Q2 and 12% lower than the same period in 2022.
Glenigan economic director Allan Willen said: “Starts on site continue to soften and, as economic and political disruption continues, we’ll likely see clients and contractors continue to adopt a cautious approach to start dates until the landscape looks a little less hostile.”