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Scotland construction enquiries fall by half in Q4 2023

Posted: Friday, February 9th, 2024

Nearly half (47%) of all master builder companies reported a fall in enquiries for new work at the end of last year leading to a 15% fall in workloads, according to the latest State of Trade Survey from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), for Q4 2023.

Gordon Nelson, Scotland director of the FMB said: “The last three months of the calendar year typically don’t yield the best of results for the building industry. The shortening days and the inclement weather combined to dampen builders' spirits and stave off potential clients from enquiring about building works.

“Whilst there is no immediate cause for alarm in the slight decrease in workloads experienced by local building companies across Scotland in Q4 2023, we are eager to see if there will be a rise in enquiries for new works as spring slowly approaches.”

With the recent ease in material price increases, builders are anxious to see if consumer confidence picks up over the next two or three months. Early spring will be critical to filling a forward pipeline of works for builders.

He added: “If we see a rise in enquiries for home improvement and refurbishment works, this will be a boon for builders focusing on the domestic sector.

“On a broader scale, our construction industry is vital to driving economic growth across Scotland and it is central to our net zero ambitions.”

Nelson concluded: “We welcome the recent launch of the new Transformation Action Plan for the Scottish construction sector. It is this collaboration between the government and industry that offers a unique opportunity to move the whole sector forward and build up our local building companies.”

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