Fears over inflation causing lack of investor confidence in projects

Graham Harle, Gleeds CEO

NINE in ten construction professionals are concerned about rising inflation draining confidence in the market and threatening future projects, a new report by Gleeds has warned.

The global property and construction consultancy’s survey also revealed that 87% of respondents said that inflation was having an impact on the viability of projects – with just under 70% believing that the current challenges are impacting growth of the construction sector.

Contractors rated a lack of investor confidence and materials and labour cost escalation as the greatest threats to the industry. As a result, 67% of those quizzed expressed concern that ongoing economic pressure will also negatively impact the industry’s drive toward net zero, while 60% were worried that it will influence the pursuit of greater diversity in the built environment.

More positively, the report did reveal an improvement in the availability of products and materials, with 76% noting a settling of long-term supply issues. Over half of those questioned also found that materials prices over the same period were beginning to flatten, compared to just 32% in Q3. Labour availability continues to be a problem however, with 65% experiencing issues and a massive 88% reporting increases to worker’s rates.

Speaking about the findings of the report, Gleeds CEO, Graham Harle, said, “It’s heartening to see that the squeeze on materials is beginning to ease and that collaboration across the supply chain has continued, however the fact that sustainability and diversity targets may be suffering as a result of continued economic pressures is a concern. Threats to viability are worrying, but opportunities do remain for some sectors and a considerable proportion of respondents were of the view that a slow down in the industry may actually go some way to stabilising the industry after a turbulent couple of years. Only time will tell.”