UK construction set for growth, say surveyors

Following the recent news that the UK’s construction sector had suffered a significant fall in the final quarter of 2012, better news emerges from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors with a report indicating that the UK construction market is expected to turn a corner this year as the government’s focus on infrastructure starts to generate returns. Chartered surveyors are predicting that output is set to increase in 2013 according to the latest RICS construction market survey.
It found that 15 percent more surveyors across the country reported that they expect workloads to grow over the coming twelve months following what was a horrendous year for the sector.
This upturn is reflected in the small increase in reported workloads in the final three months of 2012. Over this period, a net balance of six percent more respondents indicated that activity had increased, with the most substantial gains being seen in infrastructure – which has been the focus of so much government attention – and private commercial development.
Some 89 percent of surveyors believe that financial constraints are holding the industry back with around two thirds citing insufficient demand in spite of the introduction of last year’s Funding for Lending Scheme. Not surprisingly, over half also claim that weather conditions have hampered a recovery in the sector.
“After a truly dreadful year, if one believes the official data, there are signs that 2013 will bring some better news for the construction sector,’ said Simon Rubinsohn, the RICS Chief Economist . “Most notably, the numerous measures that the government has introduced with a focus on infrastructure appear to be bearing some fruit.”