NI building firms staying positive amid uncertainty
The pipeline of work for Northern Ireland’s small building firms remains strong, a new report out today suggests.
The latest quarterly State of Trade survey by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) found that despite Brexit uncertainty, builders here were more likely to say their workloads had increased in the first three months of 2019, when compared with other UK regions. The survey asks firms about their workloads, expected workloads and work enquiries.
Gavin McGuire, director of FMB NI, said small construction firms here appeared to be responding to economic uncertainty with resilience, but warned: “We can’t be complacent given the very real concerns over public sector construction projects drying up.
“This, coupled with the recent collapse of the social housing maintenance framework, has led to a sudden culture of low price bidding by contractors desperate to win work.
“In some cases, contractors are even bidding below the level at which they can make a profit on a project. This situation is unsustainable and we need procurers to work with industry to ensure this is no longer the case as if it continues, it could put the existence of some contractors at risk.”