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Overview on the growth of the residential housing market

Posted by: George Gibbs

 

An interview with George Gibbs of Anderselite:

Construction was one of the hardest-hit sectors during the economic downturn, and salaries were pushed down as a result. Salary and bonus expectations from those employed in this sector were high prior to 2008, do you see a return to pre-recession earnings in the near future? Do applicants have realistic salary expectations?

The short answer is yes I do. It is becoming a very competitive market and solid candidates know that the market is changing. We are returning to a very candidate driven market and this is already being seen with salaries slowly beginning to edge upwards once more, with employers realising that in order to remain competitive they need to attract the best people. However its not just experienced workers who are being targeted - the industry as a whole is making great strides in supporting the economy over the longer term by nurturing the next generation of key workers. For instance, many employers have introduced recruitment drives aimed at bringing fresh talent into the industry and arming them with the skills they need to forge long term careers. Others have developed career plans to support those already working in the construction industry, enabling them to take that next step up the career ladder.

UK construction output is reported to be enjoying its strongest growth since 2007, with the housing market leading the way. What do you see as the key reason for this rate of expansion?

The total value of residential projects awarded increased by 8% from Q2 to Q3 in 2013 and was 13% higher than the level of the corresponding quarter of 2012. Reflecting the stimulus provided to the private housing market through schemes such as Help to Buy, the private sector accounted for 50% of contracts awarded during the third quarter of 2013 alone. In 2014 this pattern seems to be continuing with the second phase of this scheme brought forward which guarantees a portion of a 95% mortgage. This means that the number and value of housing contracts are likely to continue to increase in the short to medium term.

With this growth comes an increase in the number of people employed in the residential sector, what jobs are currently in most demand and what shortages exist?

At the moment we have a high demand/shortage for Mechanical & Electrical Engineers, Technical and Design Coordinators, and other professionals such as Quantity Surveyors at various different levels.

Is this recovery in the housing market sustainable? How do you see the market developing over the next 12 months?

I think we will continue to see a rise in construction housing starts across the country, specifically in the private sector. There is a high demand for luxury developments particularly in the capital with expected oversees investment of up to £5 billion over the next 3 years. House building starts are 6% higher than the previous quarter and the Halifax has also reported that house prices will continue to rise by 6.9% annually. So for the foreseeable future it looks very positive.

What impact do you think this will have on employment prospects within the housing construction sector? What are the recruitment intentions of employers?

It can only be positive. I believe that 2014 will continue to see an increase in demand for white collar staff across the board.

What advice would you give to jobseekers in the current market?

Employers want the best available people to fill their vacancies and they typically look for those candidates who hold the essential qualifications and continue to keep their skills up to date. Stay focused on your long term career aspirations and choose the sector you wish to work in carefully – try to focus on one key area and position yourself as a specialist within that trade rather than becoming a master of none.

How long have you been working at Anderselite?

Four years.

What attracted you to work for the company? What makes you continue your career with the company?

Our industry is a highly competitive one and few have as strong a position and reputation as we do within our key operating sectors. For me, I relish being part of what is a big player in the field and the opportunities that come with it.

 

Tagged In: Construction
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