Construction sector feeling the impact of soaring costs

Building materials have generally increased by 10 to 15% this year

The construction sector could see a 10% rise in the cost of materials over the next year as it tries to keep apace with demand for new homes and infrastructure.

A survey conducted by RICS, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’, of around 500 professionals in the industry, found that 82% of people said a shortage of materials was holding back the market in Q2.

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It is the highest number of people that have answered that way since the survey was first conducted in 2012.

Just under two thirds of the survey participants said there were labour shortages, more specifically, bricklayers and carpenters were reported as being hard to come by.

Construction projects have come under pressure, made worse by the pingdemic, as there is a shortage of lorry drivers to carry materials.

Simon Rubinsohn, the institution’s chief economist, said: “Most notably at this point, the availability of building materials stands out as a key problem . . . but almost as significantly, labour and skills are increasingly being cited as obstacles for businesses looking to build out existing commitments or embark on new projects.”

The Builders Merchants Federation revealed that the price of timber is up by up to 100% this year, while building materials in generally have increased by 10 to 15%.

John Newcomb, chief executive of the Builders Merchants Federation, said that issue has caused a number of recent building projects to be cancelled.

“There’s no sign yet in the UK of any of this demand easing off,” he told The Times. “Jobbing builders are still very busy as people are not travelling and are continuing to invest in their own homes, and the government has made clear that it wants to invest in infrastructure. HS2 will create a huge additional constraint on the supply of materials such as cement.”

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