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Latest building materials and components statistics

Published: 09/05/2024

Each month the Department for Business and Trade publishes construction material price indices, covering All Work, New Housing, Other New Work and Repair and Maintenance, as well as tracking a selection of building materials and components for the UK, and providing statistics on bricks and concrete blocks production, delivery and stock for Great Britain.

Building materials prices decrease across the board

Construction materials prices for All Work fell by 2.3% in the 12 months to March 2024, according to the latest figures published by the Department for Business and Trade. This was a bigger decrease than the 1.9% drop seen in the year to February 2024.

New Housing registered a 0.2% decrease, Repair and Maintenance was down by 0.9% and Other New Work decreased by 4.0%.

Source: Department for Business & Trade – Building materials and components statistics, Table 1a 

The figures demonstrate a continued cooling in materials cost inflation, compared to where prices have been in the last couple of years, albeit with differences in annual movement between some outlier materials, and therefore for different trades.

Flexible pipes and fittings, metal doors and windows and ready-mixed concrete were among the materials showing more than 10% annual growth in the year to March 2024 (20.6%, 17.4% and 12.4% respectively).

Fabricated structural steel and steel concrete rebar continue to show the biggest annual drops (-19.5% and -18.7% respectively) of the materials featured in the dataset.

Source: Department for Business & Trade – Building materials and components statistics, Table 2

On a monthly basis, the most significant price differences were seen in fabricated structural steel (-1.9%), imported sawn or planed wood (+1.8%), insulating materials (1.6%), precast concrete products (1.5%) and electric water heaters (-1.5%). 

DBT’s report also showed concrete block deliveries were up by 4.9% in the year to March 2024 and down 0.5% on a monthly basis.

Brick deliveries fell by 7.4% in the 12 months to March 2024, and by 0.7% compared with February 2024. Stocks of all types of bricks at the end of March stood at 528.6 million, which was 26.5% higher than at the end of March last year (417.8 million). By comparison with pre-Covid activity levels, brick deliveries in March 2024 were 34.5% lower than in March 2019, and stocks were 34.7% higher.

BCIS Chief Data Officer, Karl Horton, said: ‘We’re forecasting new private housing construction output to contract further this year, before returning to minor growth next year. Although house builders are reporting increased consumer confidence, we can still see a lot of stresses in the economy that are going to take time to subside.

‘Respondents to the S&P Global UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index survey pointed to slight overall increased activity in March 2024, though the housing sector activity remained broadly unchanged on the previous month. The near-term outlook remains muted while interest rates are high.’

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BCIS CapX provides a comprehensive, detailed and easy-to-use method of measuring cost movement for building and civil engineering. Widely used in the construction and infrastructure sector to help fairly allocate risk between the client and sub-contractors.

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