The cost of building materials for home improvements is rising at the fastest rate since the 1990s, data suggests.
'Unprecedented' demand for extensions, loft conversions and land scaping, amid a supply shortage, has led to prices 'going through the roof'. Builders say they are having to go back to customers almost daily with increased quotes as merchants raise their fees. One builder said that he had been forced to increase his the predicted cost of an extension from £20,000 to "27,000 - up 35%.
The price rises over the summer were thee highest since records began in 1997, according to research group IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply. And the high demand has come against 'sustained and severe' disruption to supply chains caused by global shipping chaos and the shortage of lorry drivers, forcing customers to wait up to eight months for deliveries of items such as bricks. The price of some wood products has almost doubled year on year , data from the Office of National Statistics shows.
The cost of a typical 4.8 metre (15ft 9in) length of sawn treated timber has risen from £17 to £29, while the cost of a 2.4 metre (7ft 10in) length of plywood has increased from £34 to £62. The price of tiles has gone up by close to a third, from £1.20 t0 £1.58, with builders facing six month waits for deliveries. The chaos in global shipping has also contributed, with the cost of a container from China reportedly increasing from £1,800 a year ago to £8,640 today.
A long-standing lack of skilled builders is also pushing up the price of labour and forcing householders to wait several months to start projects.
Tom Witherow Daily Mail.