Construction material costs rise for 12 straight months

Posted 05:19 October 20, 2021
Last Updated 07:49 November 05, 2021

The price of construction materials has risen every month for a year straight, official government figures show.

Data released by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy today showed the average purchasing cost, across refurbishment and new-build work, edged up yet again in September 2021.

This represents 12 consecutive increases in the all-work materials price index, a run dating back to October 2020. Although the latest increase was the smallest month-to-month change at just 0.1 percent, overall costs have now soared by 23.6 percent for the trailing 12 months.

Repair and maintenance contractors have been hit the most during this period, with the average price of materials for their jobs up more than a 25 percent.

Timber shortfalls have continued to make headlines and the price of imported sawed and planed wood was up 73.3 percent in the year through September 2021. The cost of fabricated structural steel increased the most at 72.6 percent, according to the data.

The Construction Products Association this week said 9 in 10 material suppliers expected costs to increase further over the next 12 months. The CLC recently warned that prices for items including concrete, bricks and steel were expected to rise further due to the recent spike in energy prices.

Meanwhile global logistics giant AP Moller–Maersk said in an interim report published yesterday that international shipping lead teams remained "lengthy". The firm warned that there was, "little visibility into when capacity constraints, including landside bottlenecks in trucking and warehousing, will abate". Capacity and shipping shortages have resulted in shipping freight prices to continually rise, it said.