The number of homes being built by the private sector in Wales grew firmly in the second quarter of the year, but overall activity in the construction sector was flat, according to figures from the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Construction & Infrastructure Market Survey.
Surveyors reported falls in private industrial activity and in the other public works sub-sector, whilst infrastructure activity was said to be stagnant.
Private house building workloads by contrast rose solidly, the survey suggests, with a net balance of +35 percent of respondents reporting increases in private house building activity.
Meanwhile the survey points to marginal growth in public housing and private commercial workloads.
Despite the flat picture regarding overall construction activity, respondents in Wales continued to report skills shortages, with 72% citing shortages of quantity surveyors, reflecting the ongoing strong performance in house building.
Neil Brierly, RICS Construction Spokesman in Wales, and Operations Director at Faithful+Gould says:
“Whilst some respondents cited a lack of funding and skills challenges as factors limiting activity in the second quarter of the year, these don’t appear to have held back the house-building sector in Wales. Rising workloads are evident across both public and private house-building but the latter is seeing the strongest growth. This is a positive in relation to efforts to boost the supply of homes. However, we also need to see more infrastructure activity as well to create a more competitive economy for the long-term.”
“Despite an overall flat picture in the industry, skills shortages, particularly in relation to quantity surveyors, remain evident. This highlights the ongoing need to invest in developing the skills of the future and to encouraging more young people into surveying and into the construction sector as a whole,” he adds.
The main findings of the survey for Wales are as follows:
- A net balance of +1% of respondents said that workloads were broadly flat in the quarter
- The net balance for public housing was +8%, indicating that workloads rose marginally
- A net balance of +36% of respondents said that private housing workloads rose
- The net balance for ‘other public works’ activity was -14%, suggesting that workloads in this sub-sector fell in the quarter
- The net balance for private industrial activity was -36%, indicating that workloads fell markedly
- Infrastructure workloads were flat according to a net balance of respondents
- Private commercial activity was up in the quarter according to a net balance of +6% of surveyors