Lead times for bricks pass 12 weeks in Midlands

Grant Prior 8 years ago
Share

A housebuilding  boom in the West Midlands has seen lead times for bricks stretch to three months and a chronic shortage of skilled site staff.

Leaders at Lovell highlighted how shortages are spreading from the over-stretched London market.

David Gough, regional director in the Midlands for Lovell, told the Birmingham Post: “This sudden rush of sales and return of confidence has created challenges for housebuilders.

“Many workers had to leave the sector when the recession hit, and now the industry is crying out for skilled tradesmen.

“Similarly, many manufacturers of building products either went out of business or drastically cut production during the bad times, and now the good times are back, they are struggling to meet demand.

“The scarcity of building products in the market is currently at a peak.

“The average lead time on the staple of the housebuilding industry – bricks – is now over 12 weeks, while other products such as blocks and roof tiles are not far behind.

“It has certainly presented some logistical challenges to everyone in the industry but we, like other companies, are working hard to allocate materials and labour carefully and efficiently to ensure all our projects continue as they should.”

Gough added: “There are certain brick types where the lead time is up to 30 weeks. In the recession, when housebuilding fell off a cliff, a lot of the manufacturing plants closed temporarily and laid off staff.

“Now they are just beginning to re-open the manufacturing plants and increase capacity. The average waiting time is 12 weeks and it is all as a result of the fallout from the recession.

“Planning ahead is absolutely vital now. If you have to wait for bricks for between 12 and 30 weeks, you have to be ordering them early in the process.

“At Lovell we use eight million a year in the UK and it is down to very careful planning.

“When the recession hit, a lot of people decided to get out of the industry. Now that housebuilding is back and flying, there’s not enough skilled labour out there.

“We have taken on 21 trainees and apprentices in the last year as bricklayers, site managers, chartered surveyors, management trainees – we have had more applicants than spaces.

“It is a pleasure to face these challenges, rather than laying people off. These are better times, but different challenges.

“It is definitely improving but it is not the panacea, it is not that everything is rosy. If we get the skills base, and people continue to come through their apprenticeships and stay, the future looks pretty good.”

Latest news

WSP to buy consultant RPS Group for £591m

5,000 staff at Oxfordshire based firm to join WSP
21 mins ago

Countryside puts offsite factory up for sale

Offers invited for Bardon plant which is less than a year old
44 mins ago

M&E specialist Spie UK arm returns to profit

French parent group launches a strategic review of UK operations after performance stabilises
3 mins ago

Site boss fined for locking out safety inspectors

Police called to enter site before fire fighters rescue workers stranded on roof
5 mins ago

Rebid starts for £200m M5 junction job

Cost inflation forces retender for £200m junction 10 rebuild near Cheltenham
55 mins ago

New Downing Construction boss named

Andy Thomas takes top job as Ian Orton steps back after 24 years
31 mins ago

Plans in for 600 homes at London Aylesbury estate

Notting Hill Genesis aims to start work next year on phase 2 of Southwark estate rebuild
4 mins ago

Tide gets green light for UK’s tallest modular tower

Volumetric specialist to build 48-storey student skyscraper at Canary Wharf
2 days ago

TopHat cuts losses and aims for profit in three years

Modular specialist investing for future as latest results show £19.4m loss
24 hours ago

Story Contracting names next chief executive

Andy Joy to be promoted to CEO as Jason Butterwork becomes vice chairman
23 hours ago

Stalled £100m North London build-to-rent tower to start

Essential Living commits to start Swiss Cottage scheme six years after planning OK'd
1 day ago

Bidding starts for Pagabo £1bn medium works deal

Extra small project lot added in framework renewal
1 day ago

Vital funding deal for £50m A38 Midlands upgrade

Work could start early next year on A38 BREP now out to tender
24 hours ago

Graham wins £16m National Railway Museum job

Firm seals pre-construction deal as new museum Central Hall gets planning green light
1 day ago

Demolition starts on half-built £48m Taylor Wimpey flats

Furious local residents blast house builder over "unbearable" noise
4 days ago

Civils contractor fined £600k after boy dies in drainage pipe

Workers find seven-year-old who suffocated on housing site
5 days ago

Plan for trio of towers at old Yorkshire Post site

Galliford Try advises on construction plan for Leeds student and build to rent towers
4 days ago

Insolvency to rival inflation as project cost threat

Inflationary pressures likely to peak this year before easing in 2023, but supply chain stress is growing.
4 days ago

B+K starts £300m Sheffield West Bar scheme

Funding deal triggers start on major mixed-use scheme
4 days ago

Willmott Dixon bags £44m Passivhaus leisure centre

Private builder prepares to start Staines-upon-Thames complex
4 days ago

Go-ahead for £160m Cambridge mixed-use scheme

Devonshire Gardens will consist of 70 private rental flats and 120,000 sq ft of offices
4 days ago

Construction buyers report first drop in output for 18 months

Civil engineering worst performing sector
5 days ago

Construction and infra margins hit 3.2% at Morgan Sindall

Contractor picking deals carefully as inflation continues to bite
5 days ago

Morrisroe Group revenue tops £200m

Pre-tax profit halves to £2.7m as cost inflation bites
5 days ago

Kier to start new £400m ‘smart’ prison this autumn

At least 50 ex-offenders will help build new HMP Full Sutton
6 days ago

Former P&R Morson staff to launch legal claim

Former staff of failed Midlands M&E specialist consult with lawyers following administration
5 days ago

Eight firms win big north west MMC housing deal

JV North consortium plans to build 4,000 homes by 2026
5 days ago

Balfour to replace Ringway Jacobs on £176m Bucks highways deal

Balfour to start new eight-year maintenance contract in 2023
5 days ago

O’Keefe suppliers owed £13m despite Byrne rescue

Unsecured creditors to get less than 2p in the pound for their debts
7 days ago

Taylor Wimpey staff to get £1,000 towards fuel bills

All staff earning below £70,000 will receive a one-off payment
6 days ago

Contractor services