In numbers, w/e November 3

SCOTLAND’S construction sector has seen its workload fall to its lowest in ten years, outside of the slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The claim has been revealed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which says, in a media release: “Scottish construction market activity fell for the fourth consecutive quarter[-year] with all sub-sectors now seeing either flat or falling workloads.

“A net balance of -21 per cent of Scottish respondents said that workloads fell in Q3 [July-September this year], down from minus four per cent in Q2 [April-June],. This brings the workload balance to its lowest level in over three years and its lowest, outside of lockdowns, since Q2 2012.

“Looking at the sub-sectors, a net balance of -23 per cent of respondents experienced a decline in public housing workloads, -33 per cent in private housing, -16 per cent in private commercial, -31 per cent in ‘private industrials’ and minus seven per cent in other public works. The only sub-sector that didn’t experience a fall was infrastructure, in which workloads were noted to be flat.”

The announcement continues: “Although surveyors in Scotland are continuing to report labour shortages, the shortages noted in Q3 appear to be less severe than in Q2.

“Fifty-six per cent of Scottish surveyors reported a shortage in quantity surveyors, down from 63 per cent in Q1, 54 per cent noted a fall in other construction professionals compared to 61 per cent in Q1 and 47 per cent reported a shortage in bricklayers which is the lowest this figure has been since the beginning of 2021.

“Looking ahead, surveyors in Scotland expect workloads to be relatively flat over the next 12 months. A net balance of minus three per cent expect a decline. Surveyors in Scotland are less optimistic than respondents in the rest of the UK though, where a net balance of six per cent expect a rise in workloads over the next year on average.

“According to the latest survey, respondents in Scotland indicate that profit margins will continue to be squeezed over the next year. A net balance of -17 per cent of respondents expect profit margins to fall, compared to -15 per cent that expected a fall in Q2, and minus one per cent in Q1.”

The figures have been extracted from an UK-wide report, here.

DEATH rates are almost twice as high in the most deprived areas of Scotland compared to the least deprived, according to a new report from the National Records of Scotland.

Says NRS, here: “Scotland’s Population report for 2022 also finds the gap is much wider for some causes, including drug misuse deaths.”

YOUNG house-hunters in Scotland are “prioritising environmental credentials”, according to one of the country’s biggest housebuilders.

The findings – publicised this week – are from a wider report, Tackling the Cost of Living Crisis, carried out on behalf of Barrett Developments and launched in February.

Says a media release issued by Barrett Developments: “[The research] has revealed that Gen Z and millennials aged between 25 and 34 are more likely to pay more for a home with good ‘eco credentials’ than any other age category, with over six in ten (62 per cent) willing to sacrifice cash in favour of sustainability.

“Meanwhile, their elder counterparts (aged 55-64) were revealed as the least likely to consider spending more on an ‘eco-friendly’ home, with just over half (53 per cent) willing to spend more. However, the research shows that all age groups surveyed are more interested than not in paying more for a sustainable home.

“Other trends revealed in the research include buying a home and renting out a room to generate more income and buying a home with a friend or family member to get on the property ladder, with the youngest homebuyers (18-24) most likely to consider both those options.”

EDINBURGH has been identified among four UK cities where demand is estimated to be at its highest for ‘mid-market’ rent or purchase of housing designed specifically for older people.

Says real estate advisers, CBRE, some 62 per cent of respondents to an UK-wide survey “are open to moving into a senior living scheme in the future”.

The other three cities are Birmingham, London and Southampton.

The survey involved 2,000 people. Says CBRE, here: “A quarter (24 per cent) of respondents are already considering a move in the next five years, with demand highest in Birmingham, Edinburgh, London and Southampton. However, supply is notably constrained in these cities and as a result, is hindering take-up.”

CBRE continues: “The research found that more than 69,000 units would be needed across Birmingham, Edinburgh, London and Southampton alone to address the supply gap. At an UK level, CBRE estimates that there is an undersupply of 614,000 senior living units.”

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

Comments are welcome – only courteous ones (as per our T&Cs) – but they can only be posted by signed-in members. To sign up, for as little as £12 a year, please go here. Please note, comments appear following moderation (so expect a delay when submitting).