British brick shortage






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The shortage in Britain is expected to last until 2022 but thank goodness for stockists like Manchester Brick Specialists who have a healthy range in stock.

How did the widely used, unassuming, traditional clay brick become something so sought-after? House prices are currently dominating the British media at the moment. According to the media, rocketing asking prices are a result of the untouchable greenbelt, developers land banking, or governments not lifting caps on borrowing for housing revenue.

However, more recently, we’ve been hearing about a more basic barrier to house building: the British Brick shortage.

12-month wait for British manufacturers

Manufacturers of British made bricks restricted production during lockdown and the backlog has been huge. It is estimated, due to Brexit, there are 15,000 fewer haulier drivers. And due to the coronavirus pandemic, 30,000 HGV driver tests were postponed. Combine all of this with record new orders building materials and bricks across the industry in 24 years, housing developers are having to wait over 12-months for deliveries.

 According to the federation of master builders, one house builder was involved in a dispute with a local authority. Their plans were approved based on a brick sample. The builders are now having problems getting the right brick and the local authority is unhappy about the alternative. If the council and the house builder can’t agree on a compromise, this might delay building the house for a year while they wait for supplies of the approved brick.

Correspondingly, a planner attended a design meeting and asked why the architect was not using the bricks for the new scheme under discussion. The planner was told that with the brick shortage it’s safer to use steel and glass and to avoid traditional bricks.

This has caused the average order schedule cancellation rate we have operated to has been in excess of 24%. According to latest Government figures for June, brick inventories have plunged to a new 20-year low as orders continue exceed production.

Brick imports

According to the ONS, brick imports have been increasing year on year for more than 10-years now and is the only way to meet demand.

When a house builder imports bricks from abroad, it allows them to ensure continuity of brick colour over a large development. As British manufacturers have apparently let their stocks dwindle, Manchester Brick can provide bricks in time and at a competitive price.

Britain could be facing a brick shortage as more homes are built. The shortage in Britain is expected to last until 2022 but thank goodness for stockists like Manchester Brick Specialists who didn’t let their stores diminish, with a healthy range in stock and available.

At present, we have the availability of the best quality bricks for immediate delivery to your building site. These bricks are exclusive to us and are perfect for new builds and housing developers:

Chapel Light bricks are a handmade brick you’ll see on cottages, farmhouses and converted barns across the shire counties. Lightly weathered for a textured appearance, these bricks are a superb match for new developments in conservation areas.

Adlington Multi bricks


Adlington Multi

These handmade bricks are meant to look soot-weathered, so that they blend in with neighbouring brickwork. Each of these handmade bricks are hand-shaped and saturated with smog and grime to capture the character of the city.

Manchester Victorian Pressed brick

Pressed Stock

Manchester Victorian Pressed

Enjoy the historic look of a Langthorpe Dark Blend brick wall with clean tending lines and a red and black hue that’s as rustic as it is stylish. This brick is the complete branding of our wirecut bricks, which are prepared using traditional methods to leave a stacked rectilinear effect, reminiscent of the early days of brickwork.

Manchester Victorian Pressed brick

Pressed Stock

Manchester Victorian Pressed

Once you know the brick you are after, you will be ready to buy the bricks for your development. There are plenty of places to buy our bricks from. Contact us directly and a member of the team can point you to your local builders’ merchant.