Construction sector hit by more than 60 percent “across the board” materials cost rise

Construction sector hit by more than 60 percent “across the board” materials cost rise
A residential property is under construction in this undated file photo.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The cost of construction-related materials has gone up more than 60 percent across the board compared to pre-pandemic prices according to Bahamian Contractors Association president Leonard Sands.

Sands said: “Unless you’re an industry practitioner you probably would notice it but for those involved in the industry they most definitely have noticed. It’s rather difficult for persons in the industry to now have conversations with clients who are calling into question what contractors are charging,” said Sands.

“The industry has never seen these types of increases,” he continued.

“The world has never experienced a pandemic like the COVID-19 pandemic followed by a war which has affected the cost of a lot of goods. The cost of oil, oil-related products, and basically anything that has to be manufactured has gone up. It’s just a domino effect. It will go down at some point and time but as for right now we are in the middle of what is a global challenge.”

Sands said that consumers have the choice of shopping around with various local suppliers, however, the cost differential might not be that significant.

“If you take lumber, for instance, most of our lumber comes from the eastern seaboard of the United States. You can get lumber out of Brazil and some other places but it will take a bit longer to get here. Most Bahamian suppliers get their lumber out of Georgia.”

Sands said: “Compared to pre-pandemic, prices have gone up on construction-related materials more than 60 percent across the board.  Some have gone up 100 percent, but across the board, on average it’s about 60 percent. A ten-foot length of two by four which would have cost six dollars and change is now almost $16. The price of lumber has more than doubled.”

Sands noted that the rising costs of construction-related materials have ultimately driven up construction costs.

 “It costs a lot more to build right now. There’s nothing we can really do about it. We are facing a number of external factors that we can’t control,” said Sands.