It was a tough week on the markets for UK house builders, REITS and construction companies last week. Our basket of house builder shares recovered well on Friday, but were still down on the week.
Of course share performance often bears little relation to actual company performance, relying as it does on the whimsy of analysts, economists and speculators.
House builders are a great example - company after company has reported record completions, revenue and profits this year, yet our index of house builder shares is languishing well below pre-referendum levels. And this despite all the fundamentals for growth in the industry being in place - demand, development funding and mortgage availability and all with the added bonus of political support for home ownership and delivery of much more new housing.
While there are concerns over growth in China and the outcome of the US election, most economic indicators have been positive. The US economy is growing at its fastest rate for two years and this morning's numbers from WPP indicate that there's not much wrong with the global economy. As long as the world is spending on advertising and PR to fund huge bonuses for Sir Martin Sorrell, you know things are going pretty well out there!
At Blayze Group we're looking forward to trading statement on Wednesday for the latest indication on sales which will cover the post-referendum period. All indications from our contacts in the industry are that enquiries and sales rates remain strong while cancellation rates are running at historic normal levels.
A good end to the year would give the industry (and maybe the markets) confidence to gear up for a strong spring 2017 and execute any growth plans that have been deferred.
On the recruiting front, there continues to be upward pressure on salaries for key positions - Quantity Surveyors, Project Directors and Project Managers with the right skillset in a candidate driven market.
Any house builders holding off on recruitment decisions now and expecting to dip into the market in the New Year to fuel spring growth will be in for a surprise. There just isn't enough talent to go round and anyone coming late to the party will be faced with more expensive hires, or worse - no hire at all!
Now would be a great time to discuss your 2017 hiring plans - you really need to start talent mapping now if you want to secure the key people you'll need to deliver growth in the coming year. Contact your sector specialist for more detailed stats on candidate availability across specific skill sets and to discuss your strategic plans for the coming year.