Ruth Mitchell

Construction workloads decline in the North East

Construction workloads in the North East fell during the last quarter of 2010, as government spending cuts and a lack of commercial finance took their toll on the industry, according to the latest RICS Construction Market Survey.

Ten per cent more surveyors in the region reported total construction workloads fell rather than rose in Q4 2010.

This is a slight drop from Q3 (-6 per cent).

The South East region was the only area to report positive activity, while all other regions saw sharp falls in workloads.

Northern Ireland and Scotland recorded the largest falls in activity with net balances of –52 and –23 respectively.

As a result of government spending cuts, public housing and public non-housing sectors were the hardest hit - recording net balances of -28 and -11 respectively.

Michael Henning, RICS North East spokesman on construction matters and associate director at Summers Inman in Newcastle, said: “It’s difficult to be positive in the current climate. There is an acute shortage of new construction work in the region and this is having a serious impact across the sector.

“The costs of running a business are rising whilst a cutthroat market is driving down fees and profit margins.

“It’s going to be a much tougher year than many anticipated.”

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