Construction costs: hitting new high

The proportion of construction companies reporting higher-than-normal cost increases hit a new record in late May, data from the Office for National Statistics revealed.

More than two in five companies (44 %) surveyed said that in the two weeks to May 30 they had seen their costs rise more than normal. It is the highest number on record since the ONS began its survey just after the start of the pandemic last year.

Just over one in five (26 %) reported that prices had not increased more than usual. Less than five percent said that some prices had risen while others had fallen, but no company reported that most prices fell.

A quarter said they were not sure how prices had changed or that the question about price changes did not apply to them. ONS surveyed 750 construction companies.

The director of economics for the Construction Products Association, Professor Noble Francis, said that while the ONS data was volatile, there was a clear trend of rising costs over the past nine months.

Material cost inflation due to shortages has been a growing problem in recent months. Steel, wood, cement, aggregates, plastic and shingles are among the products that have been on the Construction Leadership Council’s list of products facing supply restrictions.

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