The cost of building materials is soaring, reported the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) recently, with a third of SME building firms reported squeezed margins. Its research found that almost a quarter of these have had to pass these price increases onto consumers.
The majority of the price increases can be attributed to the post-Brexit depreciation of sterling that’s taken place since last year’s June referendum.
SME firms were asked to list which materials had increased the most, with the results being:
The research also found that 22% of those involved in the research (almost a quarter) had been forced to pass the price increases on to their clients, making projects more costly for consumers.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Material price increases have left builders under severe pressure. This research shows that following the fall in the exchange rate, timber is the material that the majority of builders say has increased most in price. But the problem doesn’t end there – everything from insulation to windows to bricks and blocks are soaring in price.
“A third of builders report that these price increases are eating into their already razor-thin margins – and this on top of increased wages and salaries stemming from long-term construction skills shortages.”
It’s inevitable that prices increases in materials will push build costs up, especially when European timber is one of the main elements in the price hikes.
It’s crucial that Government negotiate a trade deal that bolsters the construction industry through the Brexit process. Sterling depreciation is already having a dramatic impact that import duties could have a drastic effect upon. This is especially important for the custom build sector, where timber frame features so significantly.