Cautious optimism returns to East Midlands construction market

The East Midlands construction market experienced a welcome boost last quarter with workloads edging up for the first time since early 2010, says the latest RICS Construction Market Survey.

Seventeen per cent more chartered surveyors in the region reported increases rather than decreases in workloads, while public sector housing projects saw a particularly notable upturn. Across Great Britain, all areas failed to see any significant growth with the exception of the Midlands.

With projects on the rise, the region’s chartered surveyors were optimistic that workloads would continue to rise and, as a consequence, profit margins will stabilise over the next 12 months.

A net balance of 23 per cent more respondents expect to see workloads rise and 14 percent more expect margins to edge up. This is the first positive reading since late 2007 and suggests that a cautious optimism may be slowly returning to the East Midlands market.

Furthermore, with optimism edging upwards in terms of future workloads and margins, so too did expectations for employment levels in the sector. 20 percent more surveyors expect an increase rather than a decrease in jobs for construction workers over the coming twelve months.

Paul Meadows, of Salus Approved Inspectors, said: “We have been recruiting this year, particularly in the East Midlands. Housing associations are able to spend and private residential projects have shown glimpses of improvement. Combined with recent government initiatives, the outlook appears cautiously optimistic.”

Alan Robinson of Tompkins Robinson Surveyors added: “There are no local factors to report on such as redundancies, but an improved level of enquiries across both private and public sectors in comparison to last quarter.”