RICS: Private house building work rose in Q4

Michael Lloyd

January 23, 2020

Building workloads and private housing both continued to rise in Q4, the RICS Construction and Infrastructure Market Survey has found.

The data, which looked at Q4 2019, showed that 15% more chartered surveyors reported a rise in private housing.

In addition, 12% more surveyors saw a rise in workloads rather than a fall which is below the average net balance of 36% recorded before the referendum.

In Q4 infrastructure saw the strongest growth, with 17% more contributors reporting a rise in workloads.

Jeffrey Matsu, economist at RICS, said: “While momentum across the industry has eased in recent years, surveyors continue to report full order books and constraints on capacity that suggest anything but a recession.

“The General Election result last month provided a welcome relief to market confidence with the anticipation of additional fiscal spending to be announced at Spring Budget pushing year-ahead workload expectations higher.

“That said, the yet-to-be-known relationship with the EU has kept the economic outlook fragile which is affecting businesses intentions to invest.”

Since the start of 2019, workloads in public housing have also risen.

A third (34%) more surveyors reported an increase in expectations for council house building workloads over the coming 12 months after the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap was lifted.

Activity in the private commercial sector also increased in Q4 with 11% of respondents seeing a rise, up from 2% in Q3 2019.

Workloads in industrial remained stagnant for the fifth consecutive quarter.

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