East Anglia: House builders leading the recovery for region’s construction sector, says RICS
06:00 10 January 2014
House building in the East of England continued its revival towards the end of 2013, with the private sector leading the way, according to the latest RICS Construction Market Survey.
A net balance of 53% more chartered surveyors indicated that private home building levels were continuing on their upward trend during the final quarter of 2013.
Commercial construction also continued to rise, a welcome sign that demand from businesses is steadily rising, while infrastructure construction also showed signs of picking up speed.
However, despite the fact that the recovery in the construction industry is only just getting underway, the increase in activity is already being met with some skills shortages, says RICS.
In the East, blue collar workers remain particularly scarce due to strong demand from the housing sector while nationally 36% of respondents claimed that overall labour shortages were restricting building levels.
RICS regional spokeswoman Dayle Bayliss said: “With the region’s economy continuing on its road to recovery it is excellent news that demand for construction is now on the rise. This will be particularly welcome for SME construction firms, who have had an incredibly difficult time during the recession.
“Indeed, it is telling that so many surveyors are reporting skills shortages. Though a worrying trend, this represents an excellent opportunities for future job opportunities, provided growth can be sustained.
“With estimates suggesting that some 240,000 homes need to be built a year to keep up with demand, government must ensure that the right policy environment is created to ensure home building levels continue to rise.”
Looking ahead, expectations for future construction activity in the east were extremely upbeat with 70% more chartered surveyors expecting workloads to increase rather than decrease during 2014.
Furthermore, predictions for employment levels and company profits were also very positive, suggesting that the region’s construction sector may at long last be beginning to prosper.