Ukraine conflict drives steel price increase, as labour shortages continue

House prices rise at fastest annual pace since 2007, say Halifax

This week saw the latest publication of the Halifax house price index, which revealed that the average cost of a home has risen by 10.8% over the year.

The rise – which takes the average house price to £278,123 – is at the fastest rate since 2007, said the mortgage lender.

Materials supply improves slightly, but steel costs soar

The latest product availability update was published by the Construction Leadership Council this week, reporting that there are good stocks and availability of most products, although electrical items – especially those which use microchips – are experiencing supply issues.

The key concern within the industry is price: energy-intensive products have experienced cost inflation levels of around 20% this year, with other materials experiencing price rises of 5%-10%.

And, whilst haulage availability has improved slightly, labour shortages are still experienced across all areas of the industry, the CLC reported.

Meanwhile, Arcadis upgraded its inflation forecast for 2022, stating that labour cost pressures will replace material cost inflation as the key driver for tender price rises, which are expected to peak at around 5%.

This week, British Steel imposed an extraordinary rise of £250 per tonne on steel sections, blaming the war between Russia and Ukraine and stating that the conflict was creating high levels of volatility in commodity and energy prices, as well as disruption to international trade flows.

Finally, official figures issued by the Office for National Statistics this week revealed that construction output has grown for the third month in a row.

Monthly output increased by 1.1% in volume terms in January 2022, following a 2.0% rise in December 2021. Output is now at its highest level since September 2019.

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