Two market trends

The landscape is shifting and two types of market trends have emerged:

Overstretched – markets that experienced high levels of construction activity have been stretched by increasing costs driven by shortages of skilled labour and growing demand beyond what suppliers can deliver. These markets are mostly less volatile owing to their diversity and maturity, protecting against instability.

Over-reliant – markets heavily affected by volatile commodity prices and slowing Asian growth, which revealed their unhealthy dependence on these macro-economic, and sometimes political, factors. The economies affected by these have generally cooled as low market confidence has delayed new investment. However, in some of these markets cost inflation continued to be high, with the construction sector often not the right size to meet the demand that is reliant on macro-economic or political factors.

New ways of thinking

Both of these contrasting situations require the industry to adapt and evolve to new circumstances, and think differently about how projects and programmes are set up and delivered. For example, when it comes to cost performance one of the biggest opportunities for improvement lies in innovation, knowledge and capability deep within the supply chain, typically within the manufacturing, production and logistics areas.

Becoming data-centric is key for the industry to add value and drive efficiency in performance. There is also movement towards integrated design using consistent data to optimise how buildings, infrastructure and utilities are planned, designed, built and managed.

Focusing on how best to engage the supply chain to achieve better project outcomes is key. For economies in a downward cycle, using the downtime to improve collaboration within the supply chain is just as important. This is an opportunity to plan for the future, identify ways to strip out waste and develop the right skills mix for when demand returns – ‘never waste a good crisis’.

Our international construction market survey

In the light of this changing and challenging global context, I’m very pleased to present the 2016 edition of our annual international construction market survey.

This year we’ve gathered cost data from 38 markets across the world, drawing on information from over £500bn of global real estate investment.

Our team of industry experts has worked closely with our local offices to analyse this expansive cost dataset to provide real insight. With our survey, anyone considering real estate construction expenditure can understand key global trends and make informed investment decisions to drive the best return.

Our construction cost data raises important questions that get to the heart of how businesses can make the most of their potential within the global construction industry. We’d be delighted to take part in further debate and discussion around these issues, so please do let us know if you agree or see a different picture.

For more information and to view the report click here.