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Mon November 18 2019

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Surveyors downbeat as growth slows

8 Nov Latest quarterly poll of quantity surveyors reveals rising pessimism about their business prospects.

The Q3 2019 RICS UK Construction and Infrastructure Market Survey elicited comments that the housing market slowdown, coupled with unrelenting Brexit and political uncertainty, is weighing on investment decisions.

Growth moderated across most sectors with commercial and industrial activity at a near standstill for the past four quarters.

Overall, a net balance of just +10% reported an increase in total workloads, down on average from +33% between 2013 and Q2 2016.

Infrastructure saw the strongest rise in Q3 2019, with a net balance of +18% more respondents citing an increase rather than a decrease in infrastructure workloads. However, this was down from +20% in Q2.

Total workloads: Q3 2019
Total workloads: Q3 2019

Workloads by sector: Q3 2019
Workloads by sector: Q3 2019

RICS chief economist Jeffrey Matsu said: "As the country heads to its third general election in five years, the mood music across the sector is relatively downbeat. However, while the pace of construction activity has moderated since the referendum, order books remain full as surveyors work through a backlog of previous projects.

"The outlook has the potential to materially improve, depending on the amount of fiscal spending that is authorised by government in the next spending review. Such pump priming has disproportionately supported construction and infrastructure works in the past."

The full survey results are available at www.rics.org

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