Ongoing issues with the shortage of building materials have sparked a statement from John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation and Peter Caplehorn, CEO of the Construction Products Association. Commenting that levels of demand are unprecedented both in the UK and globally, the joint co-chairs of the Construction Leadership Council’s Product Availability working group stressed the need for the industry to work collaboratively to complete projects. The new rules affecting the transport of goods has compounded the problem further, affecting the delivery of items in short supply such as steel, pitched roofing, plastic and paint/coatings, with some electrical components and cement becoming areas of concern. The Office for National Statistics indicates a price rise of around 7-8% for building materials should be expected and other items such as timber could double in price. With less buying power than the larger building companies, small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) are the hardest hit. The findings of the Federation of Master Builders State of Trade Survey for Q1 2021 reiterated that: “ongoing supply chain pressures caused by the coronavirus are a daily issue for builders unable to get hold of the products they need.” Whilst SMEs are reporting higher workloads, 93% of respondents reported they were experiencing higher material prices and over a third are struggling to hire bricklayers and carpenters. Read more here.