No one knows exactly what will happen in 2014, but it will certainly be different
So what are going to be the issues that exercise us in 2014? Our collective crystal balls tell us that building costs will rise at varying rates depending upon where you are in the country and what sectors you operate in.
As well as there being more work around, a lot of people have left the industry (or not entered it) during the recession so skills shortages seem inevitable and are already evident in some areas.
It has to be a concern that projects for which prices were agreed in late 2012 and Q1 2013 will prove to be a challenge to deliver
As has been widely reported and experienced by those of us in London, there has been a glut of inward international investment in recent years. Much of this investment is now translating into site activity.
Yet it has to be a concern that projects for which prices were agreed in late 2012 and Q1 2013 will prove to be a challenge to deliver to time and quality standards given the availability to labour of more attractive opportunities. New investors from overseas into the London market are in some cases less well equipped to understand and deal with the vagaries of the construction market.
Will the industry’s reputation to deliver suffer as a result? And will the increased challenge in delivering a scheme mean that international investors lose their appetite to repeat the experience?
To paraphrase Sir Stuart Lipton speaking at the start of the recession, no one knows exactly what will happen, but it will be different to what we’ve been used to in recent times.
Good luck for 2014!
Richard Jones is a senior partner at Jackson Coles