More than two thirds of smaller UK building firms have seen an increase in materials prices caused by the drop in the pound since the EU referendum, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB)
The new research, revealed in the FMB’s quarterly State of Trade Survey, also showed that further material price increases, possibly up to 15 per cent, are expected later this year.
The construction industry trade association, the largest of its kind in the UK, said that construction SMEs are reporting an increase of 22 per cent in the price of Spanish slate and a 20 per cent increase in the price of imported timber.
Sarah McMonagle, director of external affairs at the FMB, said: ‘Thousands of smaller building firms are grappling with the rising cost of materials caused by the depreciation of sterling since the EU referendum.’
McMonagle added that, because a quarter of all materials used by the UK construction industry are imported, the industry was vulnerable to sudden fluctuations in the pound.
She said: ‘The combined pressure of higher material prices and the rising cost of skilled labour represents a serious challenge to builders. What this means is that home owners could start to see the cost of their building projects increase.
Some home owners face having to compromise on aspects of their project
‘It also means that consumer choice may be reduced, as some home owners face having to compromise on aspects of their project due to the fact that certain materials have become too expensive.’
The data was compiled using a random sample of small and medium-sized FMB member firms.