RICSSkills shortages and financial constraints impede growth but demand pipeline remains strong.

  • Growth in workloads moderates slightly as financial and capacity constraints impede development
  • Shortage of quantity surveyors and bricklayers are particularly evident
  • Demand pipeline remains strong for 2016 but labour shortages will restrict growth

The Q4 2015 RICS Construction Market Survey shows the private commercial and housing sectors continuing to drive growth. The headline workloads net balance moderated slightly, to 33, from 39 the previous quarter. New-build activity rose at a broadly similar pace to Q3 while R&M workloads grew at a more moderate rate. Anecdotal evidence suggests that growth is being restricted by significant skills shortages, delays in the planning process and financial constraints.

The private commercial sector led the growth in Q4 with a net balance of 42% of surveyors reporting their workloads to have risen. This is slightly down on the previous quarter but still represents solid growth with commercial workloads rising in all parts of the UK. Growth in the private housing sector also moderated slightly with a net balance of 40% of contributors reporting a rise in activity, down from 47% in Q3 last year. Workloads in the infrastructure and private industrial segments continue to grow at a steady pace with net balances of 29% and 26% of respondents, respectively, seeing activity rise rather than fall. Meanwhile, growth in the public sector
continues to trail the other segments, edging up only modestly in Q4.

See the full report here: RICS UK Construction market survey Q4-2015