THE TOP OF THE BUILDING. The professionals of the construction to confirm it, the recovery is well there. Although encouraging, the situation remains fragile. This reboot of the activity, however, leaves appear a territorial divide.
Gathered for the 6th Summit of the building, the actors of the construction agree that the building is in the heart of the recovery. Sandrine Pallud, auditor at KPMG confirms, “the signs of recovery are there“. It eased, however, by stressing that margins remain flat and that the vision of the business remains short-term. The positive signs differ according to the actors. The big work, for example, pulls its pin of the game with the increase in housing starts and building permits. “Cash is the sinews of war, “she said, announcing that 40% of executives report a positive activity, and 41% are in the balance. Therefore, there is an improvement in the cash”.
However, with regard to the staff,”now is the time for caution, “says Sandrine Pallud. She notes that “only 12% of executives anticipate hiring. It is, therefore, still difficult to project themselves into the future“. In concrete terms, the prospects are more encouraging for businesses with more than 10 employees, she says.
She also points out that the new construction encourages the sector. In 2016, the 130,000 social housing units have been funded by donors and local governments to boost projects that have been frozen. According to her, the backlog will increase, which will benefit from a first time to large contractors and smaller businesses.
The weight of the standards and charges
Despite this positive momentum, many stakeholders have referred to the weight of the standards and expenses, which comes to hinder the activity. Christophe Boucaud, director, project management and heritage policies within the Union sociale pour l’habitat (USH), hope that the government stabilizes the framework to support the business margins, remembering that the standards sometimes generate additional costs for the masters to work as for the building owners.
“We’re not asking for it to recruit, but for this we need the serenity”
A contractor, who was interviewed in a news report, wish that the new government drop the charges, and including overtime, and reviews the work rules in order “to gain more flexibility in hiring“. “We’re not asking for it to recruit, but to do this we need serenity“, he explains.
But this recovery is it sustainable ? Will it create jobs ?
Eric Hayer, director of the department of analysis and forecasting of the French economic Observatory (OFCE), considers that “yes, the recovery is there,” but that “it is gradual“. For his part, François Pupponi, mayor of Sarcelles and president of the ANRU, also finds that the activity restarts and it should not stop there. Regarding the financing of firms, Bertrand Lussigny, director of the department of banking supervision of the French banking Federation (FBF), is confident. He recalled that the present banking system is efficient, stable and strong, relying on the warranty, fixed rates and analysis of the creditworthiness of borrowers. “The three pillars to be preserved for the projects of accession continue to be undertaken in favourable conditions“, according to him. Bruno Lucas
Highlighting the territorial divide
Yet, despite these positive signs for the sector, everyone is not housed in the same boat, emphasize the actors of the construction. There are many of those to worry about, in fact, the territorial divide. Brice Dyer, director general of the institute Ipsos, speaks of “four different visions of the world confront each other“, referring to the results of the first round of the presidential election. Olivier Salleron, President of the FFB Aquitaine, noticed large disparities between large cities and rural areas. For him, “don’t break what works” and which encourages the construction as it is the case for tax incentives (EEC, QUOTES, PTZ).
“We must not forget that France, which feels and which is left in the lurch”, Jacques channut, during the 6th Summit of the construction
- Richard Ferrand, in charge of the Cohesion of territories
Jacques Chanut is a reminder that even if the new president of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron intends to continue a policy of investment in large-scale renovation in the priority neighbourhoods “we must not forget that France, which feels and which is left in the lurch“. The president of the FFB explains : “it is necessary to make it clear that this is not because there are empty slots in these territories, that there are no problems of accommodation. If these slots are not suitable, not up to standards or not meet the expectations, especially for older or young people, it is normal that they are empty. One must accompany the renovation of these centres in villages rather than to imagine a spreading device“.
In the conclusion of the summit, the president of the FFB, has, therefore, challenged the members of the government “on the risks of breaking in the sector and strengthening of the territorial divide“. Aware that “sacrifices” will be required at all, it is hoped that the measures in favour of the construction will not be penalized. “The removal of the Pinel, the PTZ and the QUOTES would be tantamount to a double penalty, particularly for employment, “he said. “The building, and its location in the territories, is a vector that is essential of the covenant, a republican. It is necessary now, after the diagnosis and the awareness, move on to the acts. We have been able to do for urban renewal, we, all of us together to do to combat the territorial divide, “he concluded.