- Construction experts have said the United Kingdom's vote last week to withdraw from the European Union will damage the country's already "struggling" construction industry, CNBC reported.
- Of primary concern is the potential for higher building costs, more difficulty in finding skilled labor and a limited ability to provide affordable housing.
- In addition to the loss of European construction workers, who UK construction experts said are vital to supplementing the British skilled worker pool, construction companies and professional architecture and engineering firms must now wait to find out how the move will impact their non-British payroll, in some cases an estimated 40% of employees, according to the Architects' Journal.
The Architects' Journal post-Brexit construction industry predictions include:
- Projects will be put on hold or canceled altogether due to the uncertainty caused by Brexit.
- Builders will most likely have to find new sources for building materials, as currently the UK sources its materials from all over Europe.
- The likely fall of housing prices should come as a relief, particularly to first-time buyers, but could also spur an influx of foreign investors.
- There will be changes in public procurement laws, but not in the amount of red tape.
- Confusion around the direction of the green building "agenda" will lead to questions about how multiple nations will have the same bargaining power to make carbon reduction deals.
However, just as a downturn in housing prices will appeal to many homebuyers, 20% of construction companies surveyed said that being a part of the European Union actually hurt business, according to CNBC.
One developer told CNBC that the U.K. construction industry is already experiencing a "crisis" due to the skilled labor shortage. The U.S. building industry is suffering from a similar problem, as the lack of available workers has plagued contractors for years. Earlier this month, AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr said "it is only a matter of time" before the skilled worker shortage affects the general economy now that it is starting to impact construction hiring.