Builders’ recovery from the pandemic is being curtailed by a long-lasting crisis in the price and availability of vital building materials, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to UK Construction PMI data released today.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “Builders throughout the UK, particularly smaller firms, are struggling to recover from the pandemic as a result of the continued materials crisis. For some time now, demand for building materials has been outstripping supply, with this month’s data representing the second-fastest rate for input cost inflation since recording began. The FMB’s latest membership survey revealed the prevalence of this crisis within the sector, with 98% of FMB members experiencing price increases for building materials. It’s vital that transparent allocation and pricing policies are implemented to help enable SMEs to have continued and stable access to materials. The Government should also re-evaluate their position with regard to issuing temporary visas for EU HGV drivers, to better enable the delivery of materials.”

Berry continued: “Notwithstanding the wider economic impact risked by consumers choosing not to undertake building projects as a result of delays, there is also a real risk that the current environment is exploitable by cowboy builders. Builders are working hard to stick to agreed timelines, but consumers must be cautious about promises to complete jobs quickly and cheaply. All too often these will be too good to be true, and could well leave households at the mercy of unscrupulous cowboy builders.”

 

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