The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Scottish construction sector - the long road to recovery begins

The on-going decline of the Scottish construction sector seems finally to be turning a corner with the number of new projects beginning to rise, says the latest RICS construction market survey. 

Since the start of the downturn in 2007, the amount of construction going ahead across the country has dropped considerably and the sector has suffered substantially as a result. However, activity finally does appear to be edging upwards, with 11 percent more surveyors reporting rises in workloads in the second quarter of the year, the most positive reading since Q1 2008.

Encouragingly, this more positive tone is expected to continue over the coming year with 33 percent more respondents predicting workloads will continue to rise rather than fall once more. With every pound spent on construction in the UK generating almost three pounds of wider economic growth, this will undoubtedly be seen as good news for UK PLC. 

Significantly, the improved expectations for workloads are also being reflected in sign that the collapse in profitability may be staring to reverse. Encouragingly this is also feeding through to a greater level of optimism about the prospects for employment with 22 percent more chartered surveyors expecting job opportunities within the industry rise in the next twelve months. Once again, this is the most positive the sector has been in a number of years and the industry will be hoping that this is the start of the long road to recovery that we have long been waiting for. 

Sarah Speirs, Director RICS Scotland, commented: “It is most definitely good news that the amount of construction taking place across the country seems to have turned a corner. Increasing numbers of homes, infrastructure projects, shops and offices can only be good for the wider economy. 

“It is important however, that we keep this in perspective. Construction across Scotland has been falling for quite some time and despite an increase in activity, there is still a long way to go and a number of financial barriers to remove before we can start talking about a full recovery.” 

RICS is the world’s leading qualification when it comes to professional standards in land, property and construction.

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