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Private Housing Sees Highest Growth in Construction Activity, Says RICS

Construction levels across all sectors in the UK are rising steadily post-Brexit, with the private housing sector continuing to see “the strongest momentum”, according to a new survey by RICS.

Construction levels across all sectors in the UK are rising steadily post-Brexit, with the private housing sector continuing to see “the strongest momentum”, according to a new survey by RICS.

A survey, conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), has found that whilst 19% of surveyors reported workloads in the construction industry have risen over the last quarter, the proportion indicates a slow-down when compared to the rate of growth witnessed over the previous three years.


Across all subsectors of the construction industry, the highest number of respondents who reported an increase in workload over the last quarter operate in the private housing segment, with this proportion achieving a net balance of 27%.


Meanwhile, just 16% of chartered surveyors in the private commercial sector reported an increase in construction activity – the same amount found in Q2. In the industrial sector, this proportion rose from 6% in Q2 to 13% in Q3.


Regionally, the ‘Midlands Engine’, a government-led initiative to bring further prosperity to the Midlands, is said to be leading growth across the nation; with more than 30% of respondents reporting a rise in construction activity across the locations embraced by the scheme.


Looking forward, forecasts for a rise in construction activity has risen from Q2 as 49% of contributors now expect workload to increase over the next 12-months.


With respondents expecting on average a rise of 2.5% in activity over the next year, expectations for employment growth have also improved with 35% more surveyors predicting a rise rather than a fall – an increase of 17% from the previous quarter.


Commenting on the results, RICS Chief Economist, Simon Rubinsohn said:


“The picture painted by the Q3 survey is one of subdued growth, and although expectations have improved following the immediate shock of the vote to leave the EU, anecdotal evidence from respondents suggests that much uncertainty still remains on the outlook for the year ahead”.


In earlier news, the Office for National Statistics has revealed that, in August, house prices rose by 8.4% year-on-year, bringing the UK average property value to nearly £219,000.

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