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UK Construction - Biggest Rise in Workload Since 2016?

Updated: Jun 10, 2021

According to a quarterly survey conducted by the RICS, the construction sector in Britain is currently experiencing the biggest increase in workload for five years. The survey took place between March 12th and April 11th 2021 and makes the following conclusions:


  • The reported increase in workload is led by strong demand for housing alongside the resumption of projects which had been slowed or stalled by the pandemic

  • RICS members surveyed expected their profit margins to increase for the first time since 2019

  • Recruitment and volumes of work are expected to rise over the coming months as the vaccine rollout continues and the pandemic eases

  • The most noticeable increase has been in private residential construction followed by infrastructure, social housing and public-sector works. Increases in demand for industrial and commercial projects has also been recorded

  • The biggest constraints on construction now are a shortage of building materials and skilled workers rather than financing difficulties as faced in previous quarters

  • Productivity in UK construction fell by around 5% due to social distancing requirements but this appears to have had a smaller impact than surveyors first expected when rules were introduced in 2020

Commenting on the findings of the survey, RICS Chief Economist Simon Rubinsohn noted that: "the UK construction industry has adjusted relatively well to COVID-19 related work practices with most respondents to the survey suggesting only a small hit to productivity."



The report also mentioned the impact of the stamp duty cut on Britain's property market, which has performed much more strongly than the wider economy in the last 12 months.


Official data for February 2021 still showed that output was 4.3% lower than the same time last year and many businesses within the construction industry are still experiencing difficulties.


The findings of the RICS survey are backed up by other private-sector surveys, including IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index for the construction sector, which points to fast growth in the UK construction industry. However, it's worth remembering that this is a time of great turbulence and change for the construction industry in Britain.


The impact of the pandemic, our exit from the EU, limited supply of materials and the many changes to stamp duty and housing demands have had a huge and wide-ranging impact on the construction sector in the UK. These changes have also created a number of exciting opportunities too. If you’re looking for a project manager or construction firm to help you capitalise on these opportunities, get in touch with The Logic Group today. Click here to contact us.

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