CONTRACTORS must start gearing up for the next commercial property boom or miss out on large contracts.
According to Carl Heathcote, managing director at formwork and falsework specialist Peri, the commercial property market is set to take off after a lull of two years and the industry must be ready.
He argued that the office market was cyclical and there are signs it is ready to rise.
Mr Heathcote said: 'Property developers and analysts are hinting that demand for offices and commercial sites will rise again by 2007. If that is the case, we need to start the building process within the next 12 months to make sure we can meet that demand.'
But despite the slackening of the sector over recent years, Mr Heathcote claimed the residential sector was making up the shortfall, fuelled by the booming market in northern cities such as Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool.
He said: 'Residential property is a very important part of our business. Currently about 80 per cent of our building division is working on residential and mixed use schemes.'
And that boom has helped Peri boost its turnover in the UK during the first quarter alone.
Mr Heathcote said: 'If you extrapolate our first quarter figures out for the rest of the year we are on target to beat our £14 million 2003 turnover by as much as £2 million.'