'Construction sentiment continues to remain upbeat'

'Construction sentiment continues to remain upbeat' Mumbai: Notwithstanding economic challenges, construction sector continues to remain buoyant, especially in the private housing and industrial segments, according to the latest RICS India Construction Market survey for the period of July-September.

"The survey results indicate that sentiment in the construction sector remains relatively upbeat for both the private housing and private industrial sectors," a statement issued here stated.

However, activities in the public non-housing, energy and oil and gas, have edged lower, it said.

"The all-important infrastructure sector is continuing to witness growth, albeit at a more modest pace than in the April-June quarter of this year. The respondents in the survey are fairly upbeat on the prospects of workloads, employment and profit margins in the coming year," RICS South Asia Managing Director Sachin Sandhir said.

According to the survey, nearly 97 percent of the respondents anticipate an increase over the next 12 months on workloads, with growth expected to average between 7.5 and 10 percent. The projected gain in employment in the sector over the same period, however, is a little more modest at 2.5 to 5 percent, it said.

However, shortage of labour and financial constraints continue to be the most prominent factors limiting construction activity in the country even in the third quarter, followed closely by planning and regulatory challenges, the report said.

"One of the most prevalent hurdles for the real estate and construction sector is that of the human resource challenge. The sector has a lack of quality talent, which stems from the absence of specialised education, resulting in the absence of much needed fresh skilled manpower entering the sector," Sandhir said.

It has been indicated (in the report) that the shortage of skilled resources have been responsible for slowing down construction activity by an average of 6 months to a year, he said.

As a result, development firms in the recent past have been compelled to import architects, designers and planners from countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand on handsome salaries thereby pushing up project costs and impacting profitability.

"Therefore, there is a pressing need to adapt and learn new ways to do business, which in turn will aide all practitioners involved throughout the development process to stay abreast of the knowledge curve and strengthen their ability to survive the paradigm shift taking place in global construction markets," Sandhir added.