Surveyors look to construction rally over 2013

Ben Southwood
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SURVEYORS believe the construction market will turn a corner in 2013, bucking the gloomy trend of the past few years, according to a survey out this morning.

Some 15 percentage points more surveyors said they expected workloads to rise over the next 12 months than said they would fall, according to research from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), carried out in the fourth quarter.

The result marks a fall in the net balance, which ran at a four-year high of plus 29 per cent in the previous quarter’s survey. However, RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said the data justified a degree of optimism about 2013 compared to 2012. “After a truly dreadful year there are signs that 2013 will bring some better news for construction,” Rubinsohn said. “Most notably, the numerous measures the government has introduced with a focus on infrastructure appear to be bearing fruit.”

But other data in the release suggested some schemes were not having as big an impact as desired. Despite £375bn of quantitative easing, a base interest rate of 0.5 per cent and the Funding for Lending Scheme, some 89 per cent of surveyors said financial constraints were still holding the industry back.