Northern housing market workloads up

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PRIVATE housing construction activity fuelled the highest workloads since 1994 in the North of England, according to the RICS Q3 UK Construction Market Survey.

Overall in the region, 67 per cent of respondents expect workloads over the next 12 months to increase. However, skills shortages remain a concern, with 60 per cent more surveyors in the North of England reporting a shortage.

Bricklayers and carpenters were found to be in the shortest supply.

Gordon Clark, a partner at Johnstons Ltd, Cumbria, said: “Increased activity is leading to shortages in both labour markets and certain material markets, for example, bricks.

“The lead times for tender production are also increasing, with increased pressure on designers leading to extended design periods.”

Despite the concerns, the strength and breadth of the growth being reported is promising and feeding expectations for further growth.

Commentating on the data, Alan Muse, RICS Director of Built Environment, said: “Unprecedented housing demand, the bounce back from a very deep recession and government’s commitment to invest is driving much-needed confidence across the industry,”