Soaring prices of materials make life hard for construction planners

Some sellers have started selling construction materials through auctions.

Prices of building steel and wood have skyrocketed. Prices of building steel and wood have skyrocketed. (Source: TASR)

Soaring prices and a shortage of building materials mean complications for developers, construction companies, potential dwellers, and municipalities. The costs of projects that have already been agreed upon are now increasing, while calculating the price of a new project is a tricky task.

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"I have not experienced such a period my entire time in this business, and I don’t think anyone else has," said Milan Murcko, general director of YIT Slovakia, the Slovak arm of the Finnish developer. Planning has always been difficult, but it is much harder now. "It’s like roulette. If we sign a contract with a supplier today, they may be back within three or four months with a call to talk about the price again."

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Steel and wood prices shot up

Building material prices have increased by as much as 24.6 percent between February 2021 and February 2022 based on data of the Slovak Statistics Office.

The costs of building steel and wood increased the most while the costs of bricks as well as products from crude oil, like bitumen belts or asphalt, increased as well.

Construction steel increased from €700 per tonne in 2020 to the current €1,800-€2,200. In the case of wood, the increase was between €80 and €300. Masonry materials became more expensive by more than 10 percent.

"Today, all common building materials are gradually in short supply, and there are waiting lists for several building materials with delivery times lasting weeks and months," Pavol Kováčik, president of the Slovak Association of Construction Entrepreneurs (ZSPS), told The Slovak Spectator. "Some sellers have already announced sales through auctions - the highest bidder will receive priority."

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