While global economic uncertainty has had a minor impact on salary and bonus levels, sentiment remains broadly positive, according to the latest survey by RICS and Macdonald & Company Asia Salary and Benefits Survey.

Short on time? Watch the top 3 highlights from this year's survey (1m 9s)

Survey in brief:

  • RICS professionals earn 12.4% more than non-qualified counterparts.
  • While global economic uncertainty has had an impact on salary and bonus levels, sentiment among built environment professionals remains broadly positive.
  • 30% of professionals anticipate an improvement in economic activity over the next year (an uplift of 7%), while negative sentiment has fallen to 22%, which is a full 12% lower than last year.
  • 67% of professionals list a five-day workweek as a benefit, with 35% not taking their full holiday entitlement.

Watch: Top 3 highlights (1m 9s)

Positive outlook despite market slowdown

Given current volatility in global markets, the heightened effects of currency fluctuations in an interdependent region, and persistent concerns about the fundamental health of the global economy, accurate predictions are difficult to make. Nonetheless, the survey offers some leading insights and sentiments for the built environment sector.

53% of respondents still expect their employer to increase headcount over the next year with respondents observing much higher levels of hiring at trainee and graduate levels, which is often a good indicator of activity. Investment and business development professionals appear to be the most optimistic respondents, while corporate finance professionals are considerably less positive. Overall, sentiment in the industry is clearly inclined to hold, with few respondents eager to either raise the stakes or fold.

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Softening market conditions in China

With China driving growth across the region and leading the way for pay rises, bonus expectations and anticipated growth, last year’s results were notable as respondents from PRC suggested a negative outlook for their industry and hiring intentions for the first time. Looking at the salary data for last year, this is reflected in the muted salary increases and bonuses that were recorded for China respondents, which might be reflective of a changing domestic climate.

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