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Latest building materials and components statistics

Published: 09/02/2024

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 overall, but up for new housing

Construction materials prices for All Work fell by 2.0% in the 12 months to December 2023, according to the latest figures from the Department for Business and Trade. This was a smaller decrease than the 2.3% drop seen in the year to November 2023. 

In New Housing, the change on the year was a 0.4% increase, while there were decreases in Other New Work (-3.8%) and Repair and Maintenance (-0.8%).

Source: Department for Business & Trade – Monthly Bulletin of Building Materials and Components, 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 December (22.3%, 18.2% and 13.4% respectively). 

Steel concrete rebar, fabricated structural steel, and gravel, sand, clays and kaolin saw among the biggest annual drops -22.7%, -18.2%, -10.3%) of the materials featured in the dataset. 

Source: Department for Business & Trade – Monthly Bulletin of Building Materials and Components, Table 2 
* Index values should not be relied upon for long-term contractual purposes, as they are based on relatively few quotes. 

On a monthly basis, the most significant price movement was imported sawn or planed wood, which was down 1.3%. 

DBT’s report also showed concrete block deliveries were down 41.6% in the year to December 2023, and down 5.2% on a monthly basis. 

There was a 32.5% decrease in brick deliveries in December 2023 compared to December 2022, and a 6.8% decrease on November 2023. Stocks of all types of bricks at the end of December, 567.5 million, was 86.6% higher than at the end of December last year (304.2 million). 

BCIS Chief Data Officer, Karl Horton, said: ‘Looking at the data on an annual basis is as much about where we have come from to where we are now, and the continued decrease in brick deliveries tallies up with the kind of year both manufacturers and house builders have reported. 

‘Looking forward though, there seems to be more optimism in the market. Both Redrow and Barratt, which are set to merge, and Bellway have this week pointed to signs of improvement. Barratt and Bellway both said they have had an uplift in reservation activity since the start of January while Redrow reported improved homebuyer confidence. 

‘On the materials side, we’re forecasting annual growth in the BCIS Materials Cost Index to remain in negative territory, at -1.3% for 1Q2024, and for the downward trajectory to continue until the latter half of this year.’

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