The potential for the UK to leave the European Union on June 23rd is causing concerns among those working in the construction industry, according to the latest survey compiled by Building Magazine.
The magazine surveyed 1,300 industry professionals about what the potential for a Brexit vote in the EU referendum would mean for them, and the majority said they were worried about the possibility of costs of labour and materials rising as investment levels drop.
Some 60 per cent of respondents to the survey stated that a UK without the EU would mean far lower levels of interest from those foreign investors who spend big on UK property, which would spark an immediate drop in investment, meaning less development across the nation.
In addition to this, more than half said they were concerned about the increasing cost of both labour and materials if the UK left the EU, with the ability to hire EU workers and the availability of affordable tools and building materials both being damaged. Some 55 per cent said labour costs would rise markedly in the aftermath of a Brexit vote, while 53 per cent said they would be concerned about the increasing cost of materials.
What will this mean for the UK’s property market?
According to the survey, the hardest hit sector in terms of construction would be the commercials property market, which 60 per cent are worried about particularly as fewer foreign businesses will want to rent or buy premises in the UK that is not a member of the EU.
And housing doesn’t get off easily either, with 41 per cent of respondents believing the sector would be damaged by a referendum vote to leave the UK. Smaller investment levels would mean fewer new developments in the residential rental sector in particular, hitting both the market and the construction industry hard.
In contrast to this, if the UK were to vote to stay in the EU, the outlook among builders is much brighter. Some 63 per cent said this would be the preferable option for them, and 38 per cent of respondents said they have no concerns at all about how the sector would be affected by a remain vote.