Belfast Telegraph

Rising material costs could affect construction industry

By Staff Reporter

The UK construction industry is facing a "serious challenge" as material prices rise due to the falling value of the pound, according to research today.

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said 70% of builders surveyed found that their costs were going up. The pound has lost around 10% of its value against the euro since the EU referendum last year.

Sarah McMonagle, director of external affairs at the trade body, said thousands of smaller building firms were "grappling" with the rise in cost of materials.

She said members were reporting an increase of around 20% in the costs of both Spanish slate and timber.

"A quarter of all materials used by the UK construction industry are imported - this is significant and underlines the vulnerability of the industry to sudden fluctuations in the strength of our currency," she said.

"The combined pressure of higher material prices and the rising cost of skilled labour represents a serious challenge to builders."

Ms McMonagle added that aid costs could be passed on to members of the public who are buying new homes or extending.

And the buyers could be forced to compromise on plans as certain materials could become too expensive.

Belfast Telegraph