New Homes & Office Developments Help Improve Construction Sector
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New Homes & Office Developments Help Improve Construction Sector

posted in News by Skippy on 12:22 Sep 11th, 2015

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Market surveys conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have shown that workloads are up across all sectors of the industry during the second quarter of 2015. The figures rose in all areas of the UK, showing strong growth across the country.

Construction Sector Improves Over Second Quarter

Some 44% more surveyors reported higher activity levels, up from 37% on the previous quarter, driven by office development and private house building. 51% of respondents reported higher workloads in private housing and 58% in the private commercial sector, following a 22% rise in new orders in the first quarter of the year.

Whilst the growth has been nationwide, as predicted activity in London and the South East has been the strongest compared with the other areas of the UK. This has made the expectations higher in these areas, with 62% more respondents expecting to take on more people over the next 12 months and 58% expecting higher profits.

When it comes to the restrictions most felt by companies in the industry, financial constraints and issues with planning and regulation remained the biggest concerns with 58% more surveyors reporting difficulties in the second quarter. It also found that 40% of respondents reported shortages of materials, although this was an improvement on the 60% who had similar problems during most of 2014.

“The upturn in workloads has led to a less competitive tendering environment, particularly across public sector projects, but a lack of accessible finance is now affecting a net balance of 58% of our members and while concern over labour shortages dipped slightly, the demand for cost and project management skills rose,” said RICS director of the built environment, Alan Muse.

Another trade survey from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has discovered that during the second quarter of 2015 it has been a shortage of skills which has undermined activity in the small to medium construction sector despite the industry recovering considerably over the last two years.

“There can be no doubt that the building industry is booming but the skills shortage continues to loom large over our industry. Almost half of construction SMEs are struggling to recruit adequate numbers of bricklayers, with others finding it increasingly hard to hire carpenters and joiners, site managers and supervisors,” said Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB.

“Looking ahead, our members are reporting that their workloads are likely to rise over the coming three months which means the shortage of skilled workers will only become more acute. It also begs the question, how much stronger would the pace of growth in the UK construction industry be if we had an ample supply of skilled tradespeople,” he added.

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