Brexit has hit the property industry harder than most, and although the major developers and house builders are making a speedy come back it has been a tough time for all. Interestingly we, at TDM, have seen patterns emerge that could not have been predicted.
While there has been a slowdown in the sales and land areas, the surveying and cost consultancy roles have skyrocketed – there has been a spike in the number of requests for Quantity Surveyors and other commercial roles. I assume predominant reason for this is down to the developers, housebuilder and contractors needing, now more than ever, to ensure that projects are completed on time and on budget. The economy is simply causing companies to baton down the hatches while we ride out the uncertainty. This is not to say growth plans are on hold, just more caution is to be taken.
Surveyors are being relied on more heavily now as the investment into projects is being forecasted on figures that will, due to the economy, be scrutinised more than ever if they exceed the set out budgets. These surveyors negotiate the project costs for labour and materials that form the basis of profit margins on a project. The importance of surveyors on site is mammoth and unfortunately Brexit has made their jobs a whole lot harder!
The current market uncertainty has meant Quantity Surveyors have had to become even more stringent (if that’s possible!) with the initial cost plans being drawn up for projects. Setting out and agreeing contracts in the early stages of the development reduces the risk of price increases on both materials and labour further down the line, avoiding inflation and economic fluctuations.
Brexit, although not the proven problem, has caused Quantity Surveyors problems with cost planning – the plans put in place with fixed figures are being compromised as sub-contractors are under threat of going bust. If a sub-contractor does go bust, then costs have to be re-negotiated with new sub-contractors without the luxury of time thus leverage. Extra caution is being taken to account for this uncertainty. This makes it a tough job to not only forecast figures but also to rely on these initial set out plans.
Quantity Surveyors are slowly becoming like gold dust within the industry and with there being some catching up to do to close the skills gap it will be interesting to see the patterns of how Quantity Surveyors work changes. One thing that is certain is that Quantity Surveyors are feeling the pressure post-Brexit!