RICS cautions over outlook for builders
Edited by Andy Jowett.
The outlook for the construction industry looks far from certain, despite recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing a four per cent rise in builders
' output during the third quarter of the year, an expert has warned.
Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said there are "good reasons for maintaining a degree of caution" about the prospects for 2011.
He added public sector construction has been boosted in recent months by spending programmes given the green light in the "dying days" of the Labour government, but the effect of these schemes will fade in the coming months as the coalition's cuts start to bite.
Furthermore, Mr. Rubinsohn said there is anecdotal evidence that many builders
are struggling to access finance to support new developments.
"This obstacle to growth is unlikely to ease in the near term," he commented.
According to the ONS data, the volume of new work in the private residential property
sector increased by three per cent between July and September compared with the previous three months.
Construction output for public housing was up seven per cent over the same period.