Confidence of a rise in private sector repair jobs falls 28 points despite Green Deal roll out

Industry confidence in an upturn of work in the repair, maintenance and improvement sector is its lowest for nearly three years, despite the prospect of the roll out of the Green Deal, according to a survey by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

The FMB’s State of Trade survey reported that small and medium enterprises expected marked declines in the repair and maintenance market over the first quarter of 2012.

Confidence in an increase in workloads in the private sector residential market fell to a score of -45 in the FMB survey, down 28 points on the last quarter, reaching its lowest point since the first quarter of 2009. The social residential market also fell 28 points to -46, its lowest in three years.

Brian Berry, director of external affairs at the FMB, said: “The disastrous results for the repair, maintenance and improvement (RM&I) market are very alarming given that the government will be launching its Green Deal home improvement initiative in October. Market conditions in the building industry haven’t been this bad since the first quarter of 2009.

“Clearly, robust incentives for householders are needed if the Green Deal initiative is to succeed in a depressed market,” he added.

The lack of confidence is unsurprising given nearly half of all respondents reported a decline in enquiries in the last three months of 2011. This trend was again strongest in the RM&I sector where 53% reported a decline in enquiries.

Workloads across the industry deteriorated to a score of -21 in the last quarter of 2011. The public sector new build and social housing new build markets were worst hit falling to -45 and -47 respectively.