Building projects hit by global timber and supplies shortage

New home deck construction

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has warned that cement, some electrical components, timber, steel and paints are all in short supply. The Office for National Statistics has projected a rise of 7-8 per cent in material prices this year, with increases for certain materials, such as timber, expected to more than double. These increases are down to a number of factors including construction industry projects having surged since lockdown, leading to huge demand for already scarce materials.

The Construction Leadership Council has said "unprecedented levels of demand" for certain materials are set to continue. The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said that some building firms may have to delay projects and others could be forced to close as a result. Brian Berry, FMB Chief Executive, said: "Small, local builders are being hit hardest by material shortages and price rises. We can't build our way to recovery from the pandemic if we don't have the materials."

Travis Perkins, the UK’s biggest builders’ merchant, has warned customers of “considerable” cost increases to raw materials because of the industry-wide shortage. On Tuesday 1st June, Travis Perkins increased the prices of bagged cement by 15%, chipboard by 10% and paint by 5%. The builders’ merchant has been informing customers in its stores, websites and by email of the price rises.

It said the increases could affect its other brands which include Keyline and BSS.

A spokesman said: "In instances where we have seen some challenges posed by global demand for raw materials or inflationary pressures, we continue to work closely with our suppliers and partners to minimise price increases where possible, whilst also ensuring healthy stock availability for all of our customers."