Construction Industry Shows Signs of Recovery
The construction industry has shown tentative signs of recovery for the first time in two years, research from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has revealed.
In its Construction Market Survey, RICS found that in the first quarter of this year more chartered surveyors saw a rise in work from the construction industry, than those that saw a fall in their workload from this sector. This is the first time since 2008 that more surveyors have seen their work increase rather than decrease.
However, the report also highlighted clear regional differences in demand. Surveyors in London and the South East recorded a sharp increase in workloads over the past three months, but those in the North and Scotland continued to see a fall in demand.
RICS chief economist, Simon Rubinsohn, said there were signs of a revival in the construction industry, but a lack of finance for new building projects remained a serious barrier to growth.
“The construction sector seems to be finally lifting its head above the recession parapet but the continuing lack of development finance remains a major obstacle to a sustainable recovery, with surveyors still pessimistic about future prospects.”
“Concern over likely cuts in public sector capital spending programmes is another factor contributing towards the cautious stance of respondents to the survey.”
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said there had been signs of “slight improvement” in the UK building industry, but stressed it still faced a difficult recovery.
“There is still a lot of concern in the sector about the ongoing outlook for 2010,”
said FMB director of external affairs, Brian Berry.
“What we are finding, particularly amongst small builders, is that the situation is still not looking good.
“Fears of unemployment mean that many homeowners are reluctant to buy new homes or carry out property improvements. In addition, half of FMB members have reported a fall in local authority work in the past 12 months ― a situation that could worsen if drastic public sector cuts go ahead.”