Bricks in short supply as costs increase

Research carried out by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has indicated that some building firms are having to wait as long as one year to get deliveries of bricks and that the cost of these and other materials are skyrocketing.

The study which looked into small and medium-sized building companies found that bricks were the material that was in shortest supply with waits of more than one year, while roofing tiles could take as long as six months to be delivered.

The FMB has said that increases in prices have been caused by the cost of the raw materials needed to produce bricks and the weaker British pound, as well as the supply issues. Additionally, these smaller firms cannot stockpile their materials in the way larger firms can, so they are more affected by price increases. More than half of those firms questioned said that their margins were being squeezed as a result and that they were having to pass this onto their customers.

The supply issues have led to bricks increasing in price by an average of 9%, while timber and roof tiles have increased by 8% and insulation by 16%.

Brian Berry from the FMB has said that material costs are not just an issue for building companies, it is also affecting homebuyers as building projects are becoming more expensive. He suggests that builders merchants should warn firms of upcoming price increases, so they can plan ahead. He also expressed concerns that losses on projects could lead to firms collapsing which could have a knock-on effect for the wider economy.