Nearly 90% of local builders have had to delay a job – or even cancel one altogether – through lack of materials or skilled workers, according to the latest State of Trade Survey from the Federation of Master Builders.

Even more (97%) report rocketing materials prices and expect this to go on until at least the end of the year. Some 87% say they had no choice but to pass the cost increases on to the consumer.

The FMB State of Trade Survey, which is released quarterly, found:

  • 82% of builders have delayed jobs due to a lack of materials 
  • 60% have pressed pause due to a lack of skilled tradespeople 
  • Combined, 89% of builders have faced delays due to either materials or skills shortages 
  • 8% of builders have been forced to cancel jobs due to a lack of materials 
  • 12% have been cancelled due to a lack of skilled tradespeople 
  • 42% can’t get hold of general labourers, up 6% on last quarter 
  • 47% of builders are struggling to hire carpenters/joiners, down 6% on last quarter 
  • 97% of builders are facing material price rises, with 93% expecting this to continue into Q4 
  • 77% of respondents have been forced to raise their prices in the past quarter 

FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry said: “Today’s FMB State of Trade Survey shows a damning situation for the building industry, with 89% of builders facing delays and some cancelling work altogether, due to a lack of materials or skills.

 “The Government should use tomorrow’s Budget and Spending Review to tackle the growing skills gap. Effective efforts to help the haulage industry ease the supply of materials are also needed. This will help our members get back to building and help the post pandemic economic recovery.

 “Our data shows the combination of long delays and rising prices mean consumers are also starting to feal the heat. Changing quotes, delays to jobs, and price hikes may lead to some homeowners being pulled in by unscrupulous builders hoping to make a quick buck. A good builder is a busy builder and it is important to be patient when selecting the right person for the job.”