Northern Ireland construction: Dual effects of COVID-19 and Brexit

There is a cautious sense of optimism in the Northern Ireland construction industry as it emerges from the volatility of the past 12 months and continues to deal with the dual effects of COVID-19 and Brexit.

Results from our latest Northern Ireland market intelligence survey indicate a lukewarm market in the second half of 2020 with strong competition and moderate tender prices.

Effects of COVID-19

COVID-19 has changed the way we interact with the built environment. It has accelerated existing trends and forced new ways of working on the construction industry. COVID-19 continues to have significant effects on the Northern Irish construction industry with all surveyed contractors reporting reduced productivity levels.

Construction durations have also been adversely affected by COVID-19 and 28.0 percent of the surveyed contractors reported that their projects had increased in duration by three to four weeks, while a further 24.0 percent reported an increase of one to two weeks for the same calendar period.

Lead in times have also increased with 27.0 percent of respondents reporting an average increase in lead in times of one to two weeks, while a further quarter reported an increase of three to four weeks.

Top performing sectors

Contractors continue to see private commercial and housing being the top performing sectors, most likely driven by current live sites rather than bidding opportunities with each representing 33.0 percent and 29.0 percent respectively of surveyed contractors’ workloads.

Target net zero

Net zero carbon is a phrase that is now commonplace in trade publications and wider news in relation to enabling a more sustainable future. We have explored what strategies can be applied to achieve a net zero ambition in our additional insight piece.

For further analysis and insight on the Northern Ireland construction industry, download the full report.

Further resources

Please visit our COVID-19 response page for all of our resources relating to the impact of COVID-19 on the construction sector.