The latest SCSI/PwC Construction Market Monitor has been released today. This report has been informed and guided by views, perceptions and opinions of almost 300 chartered surveyors, as well as input from SCSI, PwC and other industry participants.

In addition to interviews, the research also included online surveys for the six months ended March 2018 and the six months ended September 2017.

These professionals work in the property and construction markets in large corporate firms, construction agencies, government bodies and financial institutions. The respondents are a mix of quantity, building and project management-chartered surveyors.

The monitor shows that the vast majority of Chartered Surveyors expect construction activity to increase in year ahead but skills shortages and planning and regulatory challenges continue to be the main constraints on output. Fifty six percent of Chartered Surveyors have experienced an increase in construction activity in the last six months – up from 46% in 2017.

The data shows that activity has been driven by a rise in private house building and commercial. More surveyors outside Dublin say they’ve seen an increase in activity. According to the survey, 71% of chartered surveyors have seen an increase in private housing over the last six months, an increase of 13%; Over two-thirds (68%) have seen an increase in private commercial, an increase of 10%, while 44% have seen an increase in infrastructure, an increase of 14%.

Skills shortages remain an acute challenge – Surveyors reporting an undersupply hovers between 53% - 84%.

Seventy-seven per cent of those surveyed said that they had experienced problems with planning and regulations during the last six months.  While this is the same as 2017, it means that planning and regulatory challenges have been identified as the next biggest challenge after the skills shortage.

Commenting on the research, PwC Ireland Real Estate Leader, Joanne Kelly said, "While a key challenge, the survey does highlight some easing in raising finance in the period March 2018 to September 2017. Initiatives announced in recent months, such as the Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI) fund, which is aimed at increasing access to finance for residential construction have helped. However, respondents also indicated that cash flow, liquidity and delays in payments are also issues."

She added, "Certain companies, particularly SMEs, are still facing difficulty in accessing reasonably priced finance. There remains a legacy from the downturn where construction companies had negative experiences or a poor track record with lending institutions. However, this seems to be more of an issue for regional and secondary projects."



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