Rising material costs impacting smaller builders ‘most severely’


THE cost of construction materials is ‘holding back’ the recovery for smaller firms, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

The trade body spoke out in the wake of new ONS figures, which revealed that work for builders in the repair, maintenance and improvement sector rose by 5% in the three months to April 2021.

The FMB said the national shortage of construction materials risks ‘undermining’ the ability to build.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said, “That construction output in April was 0.3% above its pre-pandemic levels points to encouraging signs for the industry’s recovery. However, it’s clear that the shortage of construction materials, and rising prices, are impacting small builders most severely and threatens many businesses’ survival as we emerge from lockdown.

“The latest FMB State of Trade data that shows 93% of builders reported material price increases in Q1 of this year. Against the backdrop of high levels of inquiries for building work, it’s imperative that smaller businesses have the same access to materials as the larger firms during these difficult times.”