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Increasing Construction Costs: Reasons and Predictions for 2022

According to the latest survey from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), 9 out of 10 builders have to delay projects due to rising prices, shortage of workforce, and most importantly, shortage of materials. There are several materials affected, causing the setback of jobs. Here is Nu Projects' analysis.


Steel


Back in May 2021, British Steel needed to stop orders on structural steel according to the extreme rise in demand. This led to an £80 rise in the tonne price of structural sections. At the moment, there is a nationwide shortage of steel lintels.


Roof tiles


In the first half of 2021, almost half of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors members raised awareness of the concrete roof tile shortage. Concrete roof tiles are one of the hardest materials to obtain in the first place, so the ongoing shortage make projects delay on an extreme level. The average lead time for concrete tiles is 24-30 weeks, and even though factories are manufacturing at full capacity, the demand hinders stock replenishment.

Good news: The CLC expects the ease of lead times from 2022 spring.


Cement


According to Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), cement production dropped by 11,4%.


Timber


There was a severe timber batten shortage in 2021, but according to the reports of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF), there was a "record-breaking" imports of timber last year, fixing the timber supply.


Bricks and Blocks


Lead times on brick supply was also expanding in 2021, the CLC says. The high demand still affects the supply chain this year, causing long-term issues for builders.


Paints and Sealants


Paints and sealants supplies have been restricted due to a global shortage in the UK.


It was also harder to obtain the following materials in 2021:

  • Concrete

  • Insulation

  • Electrical components

  • PIR insulation

  • Kitchen carcassing

  • Aggregates

  • PE and PP plastics

  • Screws

  • Fixing

  • Plumbing items

  • Sanitaryware

  • Shower enclosures


When Can We Expect the Supply Shortage to End?


Since the global pandemic kicked off in early 2020, the material shortage has impacted the construction industry heavily. However, 2022 predictions are promising.


The general demand for construction products has fallen in the second half of 2021, leading to an improved supply, CLC reported.


Will the Rising Material Prices Ever Stop?


Due to high demand and long lead times, prices have increased, making it difficult for manufacturers and supplies to have enough products in stock.


Back in September 2021, Jewson announced that its timber, wheelbarrows, insulation and adhesives prices would rise, so did Travis Perkins.


In October 2021, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) revealed that 97% of its members are experiencing price rises.


According to Construction Products Association (CPA), 9 out of 10 material suppliers expect costs to increase further over the next 12 months.


In conclusion, material supplies are now back to normal, however, there will be a gradual increase in prices in 2022.


Takeaways:

  1. In 2021, there was a severe shortage of supplies and materials in the construction industry.

  2. The high demand led to a longer lead time.

  3. Now the supply stocks have normalised, however, material prices will increase.



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