The Covid-19 pandemic temporarily halted construction work. The pandemic resulted in delays at shipping ports, which are likely to continue until late 2022. A shortage of drivers added to the transport challenges facing suppliers of construction material.
Increasing inflation and rising energy costs have already forced brick manufacturing plants in Spain, Italy, and Portugal to cut production, and with further volatility in the natural gas markets due to the Russo-Ukrainian war, further plants may cease to manufacture. Material costs rose every month between September 2021 and September 2022, and the trend continues: according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, contractors were paying an average of a fifth more for materials at the beginning of 2022, than in 2021. Add to these challenges the shortage of skilled labour available, and it’s easy to see why so many construction businesses have suffered.