64% of chartered surveyors believe financial constraints are the top factor limiting building activity

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9th September 2023 18:24 - Construction

64% of chartered surveyors believe financial constraints are the top factor limiting building activity: A survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)  has found that almost two thirds of chartered surveyors polled believe financial constraints are the top issue limiting building activity, followed by labour and materials and the impact of planning regulation. 

The latest RICS Construction Monitor Survey also asked respondents about workloads and how they have changed over the past quarter, with respondents reporting a net figure of -1, which compares to +3% in the last survey

The survey found that there are differences in perceived growth levels within the sector with the most active sector found to be infrastructure (+17%) while private housing had fallen to -12%. This fall is at odds with data released during the same time period by data provider Glenigan, which found private housing starts had increased by 40% between May and July, compared to the previous quarter.

Respondents were  asked about how credit conditions had changed over the past three months, with responses revealing a negative net reading of -42%. The figures were also negative for future outlooks including over the next quarter, and for the year ahead. Outlooks for next 12 months rose from a net balance of -6% to -33% in the most recent quarter. 

RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said the survey responses showed that “the rising trend in base rates was leading to increased financial pressures in the construction industry”, which were “not anticipated to lessen any time soon”.

“However, there are some signs of an easing in the extent of skill shortages, which is accompanying the flatter trend in activity,” he added.

“Infrastructure numbers remain solid, but the survey provides further evidence of the challenges in delivering residential developments at the current time.”

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