How could Brexit impact the construction industry?
- 15 May 2019
- In the press
Britain’s impending exit from the European Union is a source of concern for many businesses and industries at the moment.
One of the biggest Brexit-related questions for the property market relates to the construction industry. As Jerald Solis, business development and acquisitions director at Experience Invest, has explored in recent articles for PBC Today and International Director, this is a complex and multifaceted issue.
Arguably the biggest concern of all for businesses is securing the skills they need to continue operating efficiently. This is particularly relevant in London, where more than a quarter (28 per cent) of the construction industry workforce is made up of EU nationals.
As the government continues to look for ways to enable an orderly Brexit, Mr Solis highlighted the possibility of creating a new visa category to ensure construction firms can continue to access the EU workers they need.
Companies are also looking for assurances around accessing vital materials, with Build UK estimating that more than £10 billion worth of construction products are imported from the EU each year.
Mr Solis of Experience Invest stated: “The government must work closely with construction companies and offer them comprehensive advice regarding how best to prepare themselves. At the same time, establishing a fair withdrawal deal that protects trade must also be placed at the top of the agenda.”
The potential obstacles and general uncertainty created by Brexit is adding further complication to a major challenge facing the UK: supplying enough affordable homes to meet demand.
In light of this, Mr Solis stressed that “guidance and leadership is needed to ensure developers are positioned to plan for the future”.
Despite the many questions to be answered and obstacles to overcome, there are still many reasons for investors to feel positive about the future of UK property and construction.
Locations like Luton, Liverpool and Newcastle are thriving, so whatever the future holds, there will be a steady flow of new developments for buyers to invest in, coupled with reliable demand from people looking for living space in desirable destinations.
At the beginning of this year, Mr Solis offered a more general view of what Brexit could mean for the UK property market as a whole. Read what he had to say on Global Banking and Finance Review.