Surveyors are downbeat

The latest quarterly poll of quantity surveyors reveals rising pessism about their business prospects.

The Q3 2019 RICS UK Construction and Infrastructure Market Survey elicited comments that the housing market slowdown, coupled with unrelenting Brexit and political uncertainty is weighing on investment decisions.

Growth moderated across most sectors with commercial and industrial activity at a near standstill for the past four quarters. Overall, a net balance of just +10% reported an increase in total workloads, down on average from +33% between 2013 and Q2 2016.

Infrastructure saw the strongest rise in Q3 2019, with a net balance of +18% more respondents citing an increase rather than a decrease in infrastructure workloads. However, this was down from +20% in Q2.

RICS chief economist Jeffrey Matsu said: “As a country heads to its third general election in five years, the mood music across the sector is relatively downbeat. However, while the pace of construction activity has moderated since the referendum, order books remain full as surveyors work through a backlog of previous projects.

“The outlook has the potential to materially improve, depending on the amount of fiscal spending that is authorised by government in the next spending review. Such pump priming has disproportionately supported construction and infrastucture works in the past”.