More measures are required by the government to act as an incentive for companies to start investing in construction related projects say The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Following a recent report to the Treasury for March’s Budget, they detail that for every £1 that was invested within construction, it would contribute £2.84 to economic activity.
Therefore they have made a recommendation that the government extends void/empty property rate relief and reduces VAT on building maintenance and repairs to try and boost activity. In addition it has also suggested taking other steps to incentivise development of green energy within a working environment and provide additional support within the housing industry.
Commenting on their website, Director of external affairs Mark Goodwin quotes:
“This Budget provides the Government with a chance to encourage growth and innovation in construction and property, providing much needed jobs, tackling the housing shortage and ensuring that businesses have a continuing supply of high quality premises. With house-building at a desperately low level, it is essential that the Government takes steps to attract investment into the residential sector.”
We would mirror these comments which we believe aren’t specific to house building especially after results of a survey carried out of leading property professionals in the public sector. The results demonstrated that the majority of employers fear losing vital professional talent as a direct consequence of government cutbacks. As it is common to have lengthy lead times within the property industry it will be uncertain how much unintended consequences any cuts will have for the future. The industry needs to retain it’s property professionals to advise on decisions for the future that benefit everyone long term.
The worry with any major cuts is the affect it could have on consumers and businesses confidence. Most fear a repeat of 2009 and worry about another sector decline. Incentives need to be put in place to encourage growth and the government needs to include the thoughts and recommendations from the professions and not from unqualified politicians making “snap decisions” for short term gain which could cause a rise in unemployment and prolong a much needed boost to this sector.
However there are still potential golden opportunities within the Public Sector to implement strategic and efficient management of their own property assets and make considerable savings around £5 billion over the next decade and release £20 billion through disposals.
Key to the success of any new strategy will be highly dependent on the ability to attract, develop, and most importantly retain talented property professionals. This has been proven time and again within the private sector and should be a high priority of this Government’s emerging strategy.
We have experienced a better than anticipated start to 2011 with an increased number of new positions compared to this time last year as clients start to fight for the best talent in the market place before it dries up again. These have predominately been within the private sector as confidence levels start to grow and business increases for everyone. Although registered positions are up for both Permanent and Temporary positions, it is still a fragile recovery within the employment sector and looming budget could be a vital factor to how this market confidence continues. With signs of property management and building maintenance recruitment on the rise again we need to ensure that measures are taken to continue the growth in these sectors.
However we are still experiencing little growth within design, civil engineering, and housebuilding recruitment and it is becoming increasingly clear that a catalyst is required to kick-start and incentivise these industries.