Derry man elected President of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland

The new President of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, Derry man Kevin James, has warned that the property and construction sector is functioning with huge uncertainty over the future pipeline of construction projects due to the surge in construction inflation.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 13th June 2022, 12:38 pm

Mr James says both public and private projects are affected, as viability remains challenged across the country.

Addressing the housing supply issue, he says rising construction costs will put the government’s ‘Housing for All’ targets under huge pressure.

He added: “We are clearly at a tipping point where some residential developments may or may not happen. A lot of the increased costs are due to global supply chain issues, and we cannot mitigate increased shipping costs, the price of insulation, reinforcement, steel, plywood etc.”

Kevin James.

“What the Government must do is focus on things within our control such as the planning process, the public procurement process, better resourcing of local authorities, reducing ESB connection and site work charges, earlier engagement with Irish Water to avoid delays, greater flexibility around planning permissions to enable more cost-effective materials to be used etc.

“In order to keep costs under control its imperative the focus is put on these soft costs which make up roughly half the costs of delivering a new home.”

Mr James is owner and Managing Director of Cogent Associates, a Dublin based construction and property-based consultancy service provider.

Mr James, who is 50, was educated at Trench Road Primary School, St Columb’s College and North West Regional College in Derry.

He is married with four children and lives in Blackrock in Dublin.