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Press release

20 NOV 2017

Rises in Welsh house building and infrastructure activity

A pick-up in infrastructure activity was the main bright spot in the Welsh construction sector during the third quarter of the year, according to figures from our latest RICS Construction & Infrastructure Market Survey.

Highlights

  • Infrastructure and private house building activity rises.
  • Overall workloads flat.
  • Most respondents cite shortages of quantity surveyors.

View and download the full survey

Flat workloads

Overall construction workloads in Wales were flat in the period, according to the survey, but respondents indicated that infrastructure activity  including things like energy infrastructure, roads, rail, water and sewerage, and communications  increased during the quarter.

There was also a rise in private house building in Wales between July and September, according to surveyors, however the rate of growth moderated from the second quarter of the year.

Despite the overall flat picture in the industry, Welsh surveyors did continue to report shortages of key construction skills. 72% reported shortages of quantity surveyors, while 77% reported shortages of bricklayers.

Indeed, shortages of labour, alongside financial constraints, was identified by respondents as the biggest impediment to growth in the sector.

Brexit uncertainty

Anecdotally, surveyors have also indicated that uncertainty in relation to Brexit is leading to a hesitancy in some quarters to invest.

Main findings

  • A net balance of 0% of respondents said that workloads rose in the quarter, indicating that growth was flat in the quarter.
  • The net balance for public housing was -7%, indicating that workloads fell marginally.
  • A net balance of +14% of respondents said that private housing workloads rose.
  • The net balance for ‘other public works’ activity was -7%.
  • The net balance for private industrial activity was -23%, indicating that workloads fell.
  • Infrastructure workloads rose according to a net balance of +33% of respondents.
  • Private commercial activity was flat in the quarter according to the balance of surveyors.