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Latest building materials and components statistics

Published: 02/11/2023

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, and providing statistics on bricks and concrete blocks production, delivery and stock.

Contracting output reflected in building materials prices

Construction materials prices for All Work fell by 1.8% in the 12 months to September 2023, according to new figures from the Department for Business and Trade. This was a smaller decrease than the 2.3% drop seen in the year to August 2023.

In New Housing, the change on the year was a 1.2% increase and in Repair and Maintenance it was a 1.7% decrease. 

Source: Department for Business & Trade - Monthly Bulletin of Building Materials and Components, Table 1

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

Metal doors and windows, ready-mixed concrete and kitchen furniture were among the materials showing more than 10% annual growth in the year to September (19.0%, 14.4% and 13.0% respectively), while steel concrete rebar, fabricated structural steel and imported sawn or planed wood saw the biggest annual drops (-29.0%, -28.4%, -16.7%), of the materials featured in the dataset.

Source: Department for Business & Trade - Monthly Bulletin of Building Materials and Components, Table 2

* DBT reports these index values are considered less reliable, mainly due to lack of market coverage

On a monthly basis, the price of ready-mixed concrete was down 1.1% on August 2023, steel concrete rebar decreased by 1.6%, and fabricated structural steel dropped by 1.5%.

DBT’s report also showed concrete block deliveries were down 19.5% in the year to September 2023, which was a 1.1% decrease on the previous month.

There was a 32.8% decrease in brick deliveries in September 2023 compared to September 2022, and a 3.8% decrease on August 2023. Stocks of all types of bricks at the end of September, just less than 536 million, was more than double the amount at the end of September last year (251 million).

BCIS Chief Data Officer, Karl Horton, said: ‘These figures really reflect what we have seen in our own data and are hearing from the wider industry. New work output is expected to significantly contract this year, particularly driven by the slow housing market and private commercial work, and materials prices, while generally remaining elevated, are reflecting that.

‘There was no movement in the BCIS Materials Cost Index in September 2023 compared to September 2022, and it was down 0.8% on August 2023. We’re now generally seeing good availability for most construction products, which makes sense given the easing demand.

‘With finance expensive and many projects affected by delays or even cancellations, we’re still a way off seeing positive growth in output and, with it, a lift in the sales of building materials, across the board.’

 

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