2022, out with the old and in with the new…or not quite for the construction trade.
Throughout 2021, the construction trade has unfortunately seen widespread material shortages, shortages which are set to continue as we go into the New Year.
The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) recently released a statement saying that although demand has fallen ever so slightly, the supply chains are still struggling to keep up. The CLC then went on to say that imported materials like timber are seeing the largest gulfs between demand and supply, these increased supply chain issues are thanks to rising inflation and energy costs as well as uncertainty over a potential spike in Covid cases over winter…just when we thought we were over the worst of it!
Dwindling supplies of key building materials such as roof tiles, cement and steel have impacted the construction industry for most of the year and prices have skyrocketed across most materials.
Which materials have been the worst hit?
British Steel stopped taking orders on the structural steel section back in May due to extreme demand. Transaction prices were then increased by £80 per tonne for all new orders.
Additionally, the rising costs of gas and electricity and the associated carbon costs could see even more significant price rises.
Around half of the National Federation of Roofing, Contractors members reported a shortage of concrete roof tiles in the first few months of the year; concrete roof tiles can be hard to obtain at the best of times!
The CLC has said that lead times for concrete tiles are currently between 24-30 weeks and whilst demand is only set to increase, we can expect to see this wait period rise even more. The CLC hope that by spring 2022, we can start to see this ease.
Cement production dropped by a whopping 11.4% in 2021 and supplies of bagged cement have been in demand since 2020. Much like the roof tiles, we are hoping to see this ease in spring 2022!
Bricks and Blocks
We’ve seen ongoing challenges with supplies for bricks and blocks. Unfortunately, this could be a longer-term issue and the Brick Development Association has suggested that the demand is expected to remain high in 2022, as are the lead times.
When can we expect to see things return to normal?
The materials shortage has now impacted the construction industry for over a year, but there are some signs that things are heading in the right direction.
The CLC recently reported that product supply has improved in some areas and the demand for construction products has fallen from the peaks that we saw in spring and summer.
Having said this, the current lorry driver shortage could impact the supply chain further as we head into the new year, so we’re not out of the woods just yet.
When will building prices stop rising?
I’m sure all of those who work in the construction trade have felt the impacts of the price increase in materials. The reason prices have increased so much over the past year is because as lead times and demands start to increase, manufacturers and suppliers struggle to keep stock levels up.
Thankfully, the price rise has already started to slow, which is an early indication that in 2022 we can start to see prices begin to stabilise!
Why is there a building materials shortage?
Remember when everyone was stuck at home in 2020 and decided that renovate their spaces? Well, this is part of the reason we’ve seen such shortages in 2021. Subsequently, this lead to a slowdown in the production of materials from many factories across Europe and unfortunately supply chains have remained stretched ever since! However, like the rest of the Construction trade, the Woodhart team are remaining hopefully that 2022 may bring some more normality!
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