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The prices of building materials are stagnant. Wood is more expensive, a problem with sand and concrete

According to the data, the years of record price increases of building materials are a thing of the past. So far this year, they continue to stagnate for most. But the builders are still uncertain. Higher demand in the new construction season may change the development. Companies also draw attention to the critical shortage of basic raw materials – sand, aggregate and high-quality cement, which can not only make construction more expensive, but also complicate the development of the entire industry.

Construction, workers. illustrative photo

| Photo: Shutterstock

Wood and OSB boards are more expensive than last year. Otherwise they are prices of most building materials rather stable in recent months, Deník found. Builders are hoping for a new construction boom after poorer years due to high inflation, energy and material prices. However, the market can be hampered by expensive sand or cement.

The stagnation of the prices of building materials in the first quarter of this year also results from the regular monitoring of the ÚRS CZ company. “For most, we saw no or only minimal change,” they said.

In the past, the modernization or insulation of a house or apartment was made more expensive by the rising prices of materials:

Currently, manufacturers of sealants, construction adhesives and plasters, glass, iron and aluminum products have raised prices.

Increase in the price of building materials: For some, the prices have increased by more than one hundred percent

The figures were also confirmed to Deník by DEK, the largest supplier of materials and services for construction industry in the Czech Republic. “Year-on-year, the unit prices of most materials are falling slightly with some exceptions, such as wood or OSB boards,” said the director of Stavebnina DEK Radek Vít.

According to him, the increase is five to ten percent for wood, and roughly five percent for OSB boards.

There should be enough building material for now. “This can also change with prices if there is a higher recovery in demand than the manufacturers are prepared for,” pointed out Vít, adding that the DEK company records a gradual increase in the demand for wooden buildings, dried wood and mechanical processing of trusses. According to him, companies want to save time on construction, either because of the cost of qualified workers or because of their lack.

Wooden buildings are increasingly popular in the Czech Republic:

According to data from the Czech Statistical Office, wood-based houses accounted for almost a fifth of the construction of new buildings in 2020.

People in their forties want to build from wood, younger people like bricks and concrete

However, some construction companies are not entirely optimistic about the development of prices. According to representatives of Rebu-stav, specialists in insulation, wood and OSB boards have become more expensive by up to twenty percent. “We also see a significant price increase for aluminum, steel and glass products. On the contrary, we are registering a decrease in the order of units of percent for insulating materials, facade moldings, reinforcing mesh, but also for purchased windows and doors,” stated sales director Petr Šítal.

In previous years, according to the data of the ÚRS CZ, mainly thermal insulation and steel products, i.e. materials whose price increased extremely during the period around the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, became cheaper. On the contrary, there was an increase in concrete products.

A problem with key buildings? Sand, stone, cement

And it is precisely the future development of basic raw materials that can be a problem for many builders. Two-thirds of concrete consists of aggregates, the lack of which was recently highlighted by an analysis by the research company CEEC Research. “The critical shortage of materials for the construction industry concerns aggregates, but also other basic raw materials – sand and quality cement, which is already noticeably reflected in their prices in the Czech Republic,” CS-BETON CEO Marek Matějka told Deník.

According to him, the current processes of launching new sand pits and quarries are extremely lengthy, often taking ten to fifteen years. “This greatly complicates the implementation of key and strategic construction projects. In the future, this may also be a problem for, for example, the planned construction of expressways, because there simply won’t be anything to build them out of,” says Matějka.

Old clothes can also be used to develop building material:

With a bit of exaggeration, it could be said that in the future, the Ministry of the Environment could add construction material made from grandma's sweater or grandpa's pants to the subsidy program Repair the house after grandma.  Illustrative image

Floor made of rags, door made of PET bottles. The construction industry is riding the wave of recycling

Czech construction industry because of this, it faces up to several times more expensive inputs compared to neighboring states. “While in Poland a ton of sand costs 80 to 100 crowns per ton, in the Czech Republic the price has risen to 270 crowns. Surprisingly, even in Germany, some building materials are cheaper than in the Czech Republic,” he explained, adding that from a logistical point of view, the import of materials appears to be less and less advantageous due to the increasing transport costs.

According to Matějka, the market suffers from the high price of cement due to expensive emission allowances. “The effort of its manufacturers is to promote mixed cements more, the price of which is less burdened by emission allowances due to the lower content of clinker (basic binder in layman’s terms). However, this brings many production complications and, ultimately, this cement needs to be dosed more, so the desired effect in the form of reducing the carbon footprint is nowhere in sight anyway. In addition, these cements are literally unsuitable for some constructions,” he explained for CS-BETON.

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