The construction industry in the UK, in 2017, was marked with periods that seemed to suggest that the sector was struggling. However, within the same year, the industry experienced a surge in house building, which saw the industry climb out of a recession.
The debate with whether Britain should exit the European Union, also known as “Brexit”, had the most significant impact on the industry. The uncertainty of the negotiations, and survival of the administration played a role in disrupting the industrial investments.
This, paired with the increase in stamp duty on properties worth over £1M, was a major contributing factor to the housing crunch.
Impact Of The Brexit Factor
The effect of these factors was that the UK experienced a shift in investment to the north, with most investors and developers seeking cheaper land. Most of them sought land out of the capital city, where they could put up eight to ten homes at the cost of just one house in London.
The feeling in the construction industry has always been that London is the place to buy, but this thought was challenged by the trends of 2017.
2018 Forecast For The Construction Industry
In 2018, it is expected that the residential construction division will experience a lot of growth. Developers will primarily focus on the construction of three-bedroom family homes, with the aim of solving the housing shortage currently experienced in the country.
The government announced a package worth 15.3 billion GDP, spread out for the next five years, in support of housing. Public spending on infrastructure is projected to increase, but there is uncertainty over the outcome of the Brexit discussions, which is likely to dampen the British businesses investments.
Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Construction Industry
Some of the advantages that are expected in the British construction sector include the fact that larger projects like Hinckley Point, Thameslink, HS2, and Crossrail will help sustain high volumes in the year.
Additionally, there will be increased spending in some of the big cities, like Manchester and Birmingham. House building activities are set to rise further, which could lead to a shortage of building materials.
Technological advancements continue to improve in the construction industry, and it is expected that this will continue to expand in 2018, especially in 3D and modular buildings. 2018 is the year that will encourage entrepreneurialism in the construction industry, hence being branded the SME builder.
Unfortunately, there is uncertainty concerning the Brexit decision. Initially, the average period of payments in the British Construction industry is 75 days, but this is set to change, with high levels of delay expected. In return, this will lead to increased insolvencies, draining the economy of its lifeblood of cash, bringing about severe consequences on performance.
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Risks should be undertaken on a case-by-case basis, as the situation calls for more vigilance. The speed at which a seemingly performing industry can deteriorate, calls for extra scrutiny of the factors affecting the decisions to be made. Whether Britain remains part of the European Union or not remains to be seen, and the possible consequences may or may not follow.