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Dilemma in construction - high prices and few goods
Building a house costs a lot of money. At the moment, building is particularly expensive. Because the prices of many building materials have risen sharply and delivery times are usually long. Anyone who builds now needs nerves made of steel - that too is scarce.KeywordsBy
Building a house costs a lot of money. Building is currently particularly expensive. Because the prices of many building materials have risen sharply and delivery times are usually long. Anyone who builds now needs nerves made of steel - that too is scarce.KeywordsBy
Building a house costs a lot of money. Building is currently particularly expensive. Because the prices of many building materials have risen sharply and delivery times are usually long. Anyone who builds now needs nerves made of steel - that too is scarce.
Building a house costs a lot of money. At the moment, building is particularly expensive. Because the prices of many building materials have risen sharply and delivery times are usually long. Anyone who builds now needs nerves made of steel - that too is scarce.
The construction industry has full order books and still has a problem. In the industry, which has been booming for years, there is a crisis due to a lack of building materials and high prices. Many building materials such as wood, insulation boards or sewer pipes are hardly available and have months of delivery. In addition, the prices for the scarce building materials rose sharply.
Private builders can no longer calculate construction costs
The shell of Sandra and Thomas Gumtau in Buch near Weisendorf is complete. Construction started in May 2020. They actually wanted to move in this year. But they already have a construction extension of six months. There are great difficulties with the craftsmen and the building material supplies. Gumtaus received the insulation boards for the screed on time. But how it will continue is questionable. "Companies refuse us because they simply have delivery problems because they can no longer get any building materials," complains Sandra Gumtau. In addition, there are enormous price increases. A financial buffer was planned, but not of the order of magnitude. The young family is now trying to compensate for the additional costs with even more contributions than originally planned.
Craftsmen's businesses in a tight spot due to delivery bottlenecks
The price increases also bring craft businesses in need. Building contractor Andreas Kroner from the Erlangen-Höchstadt district only builds for private clients. He has a company in Röttenbach with seven employees. In his warehouse he still has insulation panels for a single construction site. He has to wait weeks for supplies. "There is a lack of insulation material, PVC pipes, sewer pipes, rubber, silicone. I usually received all of this within a few days of ordering," explains the entrepreneur. But the procurement of materials for house construction is a big problem. Steel, wood and insulation materials have become very expensive and are hard to come by. If Andreas Kroner does not receive any material for his construction sites, he has to send his workforce on short-time work. But that's not his only concern. He fears that many private builders will give up their construction project because they can no longer afford to build with these extreme price hikes.
Building materials are currently a rare commodity and very expensive
Corona is the trigger, but not the sole cause
The corona pandemic has slowed industries worldwide and interrupted shipping and freight traffic. Nevertheless, that is not the main reason for the problems in the building materials trade, explains Wolfgang Kestel, Head of Purchasing at Knauf in Iphofen. The demand at home and abroad has risen extremely. In addition, there is a chain of incidents: the shipwreck in the Suez Canal, so many goods arrived at their destinations with great delay. Added to this are the failure of almost all refineries in Texas due to a winter storm and the fire at a BASF chemical plant in Ludwigshafen, as well as the failure of one of the most important styrene and propylene oxide producing plants in Holland. These are the main reasons for the sluggish building materials market. Economic engineer Wolfgang Kestel has never experienced a situation like this: "The whole thing means that the raw materials do not come along the entire supply chain to Asia and Europe. Many suppliers report force majeure and can no longer serve their customers. There are so many In 20 years as Head of Purchasing at Knauf, I have not experienced such disruptions in this density. "
Weaknesses in globalized industry become visible
A key product in the building materials industry is styrene, a product that requires crude oil to manufacture. Styrene is contained in many products: in buckets, insulation boards, pipes, pipes, car parts, even in the food industry, it is used, for example, in yoghurt pots. But styrene is currently poorly available. This upsets entire supply chains and makes prices soar. These are the laws of the market economy: If something is scarce, prices rise.
The price spiral for building materials continues
Ordered today, loaded tomorrow, delivered the day after tomorrow, was normal in the building materials industry up to now. Now that no longer works, the supply chains are interrupted and prices continue to skyrocket. Kai Lerch, Managing Director at Bauzentrum Gebhardt in Erlangen, has to convey this to his customers. "We have drastic and unprecedented material price increases in the industry every day. There are price increases of 50 percent to sometimes 300 percent in the wood sector". He receives inquiries about building materials from all over Germany that he cannot and does not want to use. Its customers, the local craftsmen, have priority in the delivery of goods. Frank Petrus from the building materials union in Nuremberg does the same thing, his regular customers have priority. Peter suspects that prices will level off again, but may not return to pre-crisis levels. "Construction products have only increased slightly over the past twenty years, and there may now be price increases that should have been made for over twenty years," he says.
"Difficult situation" also at Maxit in Upper Franconia
Even at the Franken-Maxit-Gruppe, based in Azendorf in the Upper Franconian district of Kulmbach, there is "a difficult situation in some areas," said General Sales Manager Günther Strasser to Bayerischer Rundfunk on request. Although Maxit also has its own raw material supply, when it comes to floor areas, Upper Franconia is also dependent on suppliers. There, and also for thermal insulation, delivery times are up to four weeks, Strasser continued. Strasser describes the delivery problems with a twinkle in his eye as the "toilet paper effect in times of corona". "You need one pack, but you take five". For example, some building contractors ordered more than they needed and temporarily stored the material and later used it for other construction sites. Above all, products from the chemical sector, including plastic, are currently in short supply, says Strasser. But plastic drainpipes are needed to start a construction site. "If you don't have that, the rest cannot be done either". Günther Strasser draws a comparison with the automotive industry. If a single microchip is missing in the construction of a car, the entire body and seats are of no use either. Even construction sites can sometimes only be 90 percent completed, says Strasser.
Trend reversal is not in sight
Industry, trade, craft and private builders - they are all in the same boat and hope for a turnaround. However, it is very questionable whether prices will fall back to the level before this supply crisis. At the moment it is hardly possible to adhere to offer prices, delivery times and completion dates. Forecasts are difficult All those involved hope that the market will calm down again, especially in the second half of the year, so that delivery times will normalize somewhat and tradespeople will be relieved of the enormous deadline and price pressure on their clients. There is, however, a serious difference between industry, trade and craftsmen on the one hand and private builders on the other hand: through price increases, the former can balance their balance sheet somewhat. Private builders cannot do that. You just have to dig deeper into your pocket.
Image rights: Sandra Gumtau - private photo
Building materials are currently rare and expensive.
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