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Hong Kong Construction Market Outlook: 2014 and Beyond

CONSTRUCTION MARKET OUTLOOK: HONG KONG


The MTRC Contracts Still up for Grabs!
With the booming construction market in Hong Kong already awash with large scale construction projects it would be reasonable to assume there would be a natural decrease in level of construction activity before long.  However there seems to be very little evidence of things having any chance of slowing down anytime soon. Earlier this month MTRC kicked off the tendering process for the latest stage of the Shatin to Central Link MTR project, the cross harbour tunnels, with an invitation for expressions of interest. The works include 1.4 km of immersed tube tunnels between Hung Hom and Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter, cut and cover tunnels at the typhoon shelter and at Hung Hom, temporary reclamation for the cut and cover tunnels and a new North Ventilation Building at Hung Hom Station podium. The estimated works will cost nearly HK$3 billion.  With a steady influx of new construction projects the Hong Kong construction job market looks bright for employees at least!

Construction in Numbers
The total gross value of construction works performed by main contractors in the second quarter of 2013 increased by over 12% from the previous quarter. The gross value of construction works performed in the private sector sites totalled $11.8 billion, whilst the gross value of construction works performed in the public sector totalled $14.3 billion. It is expected that construction costs in Hong Kong are expected to rise sharply over the next two to three years because of an increase in infrastructure and residential development and a shortage of labour resources. Higher wages, a result of construction labour shortage, are another factor driving construction costs higher. The number of skilled labourers in the industry remained unchanged at around 100,000 last year, however this number still falls short of number needed to fulfil the workload.

The Construction Backlog
The introduction of more large scale projects into the market will no doubt create demand for even more construction professionals to manage and execute the projects successful. This will put even more strain on an already stretched local labour market which sees a high churn rate due to the ever increasing salaries, which is driven by the demand for skilled professionals and limited local resources. The market for both Civil Engineers and Quantity Surveyors is as good as ever and whether you’re a local Hong Kong resident or an expatriate looking to make the move to Hong Kong there are some excellent employment prospects to take full advantage of. 

A Healthy Forecast
With a solid pipeline of new construction projects still yet to be awarded in Hong Kong the outlook looks bright, and with an existing market already full of activity there is plenty of work to go around. It is also worth considering the work generated by the extensive crop of claims associated with existing projects and how these will affect the market in the long term. The current number of unresolved construction claims stands at over 300, potentially adding over HK$5 Billion worth (or more!) of extra costs and complications to an already packed construction schedule. This claims work has increased the demand for experienced Claims Engineers and Claims Quantity Surveyors from both Main Contractors’ and Consultancy firms who are looking to regain project profit or rebut such claims. 

The healthy outlook of the construction market in Hong Kong looks set continue, leading to excellent job opportunities for both Commercial and Engineering staff alike. So if your background is in construction and you’re interested to find out more about the current job opportunities in Hong Kong please get in contact so we can discuss your next career move. We are interested to speak with both local Hong Kong residents and expatriates alike.    

Tim Cole
Recruitment Consultant
Maxim Recruitment Hong Kong 

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