A top construction industry official has warned that it may be another two to three years before the industry sees relief from increased prices of raw materials.
According to Michael Pratt, president of the Construction Speciality Group – who has also served as the head of the Bahamian Contractors Association – local consumers will have to become more involved in the building process of their homes and more price conscious than ever before.
“We all know we were impacted by Hurricane Dorian and the pandemic. We also have the impact of bigger contractors hoarding building materials – not just here, worldwide – to continue their projects. We’ve also seen an increase in financing costs, insurance rates, et cetera. As a home builder you must become super price conscious,” he said.
“You must check around for better pricing, this also includes your insurance and financing rates. The use of products that can replace normal materials should be considered, which in some cases are more cost effective and durable. The ideal scenario would be to engage your architects or independent project manager to manage that project for you. Education is important along with careful attention on getting the best bang for your buck.”
Pratt said the price of construction materials are expected to remain unstable in the near term.
“There’s a spike in certain materials. Not so much paint and concrete, but metals like nails and screws. And then there’s also been a steady increase in the price of pine. Metal products have really taken a big price increase,” he said.
“The consumer must first become more aware of the increase in prices, how it impacts their projects and they must educate themselves. I would highly recommend that they engage architects and project managers to assist with the build process. Now we know the vaccines are working and as the economy begins to slowly reopen, builders are starting to see a sharp increase in the cost of building materials. This increase is not unique to The Bahamas, but it is indeed worldwide.”
Earlier this month, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation urged Bahamians to keep their shopping local as prices worldwide spike, noting that by supporting local businesses, Bahamians are ensuring the economy grows.