Higher prices for materials plus slower delivery times - up to months longer - are holding back the construction sector, the Building Federation said on Saturday at the opening of the Batibouw construction salon in Brussels.
Half of the time the offers that construction companies receive from goods suppliers are valid for only a few days (43% of all cases) and even a few hours (7% of cases). “That is definitely a sign that there is extremely strong pressure on prices,” said the Federation, which polled 325 companies in the sector.
Price hikes are passed on to the consumer in 65% of contracts, either completely (40% of cases) or partially (25%).
The increased prices and delivery times have caused potential clients to hesitate: six out of 10 respondents said the number of contracts they concluded had dropped, while 13% simply cancelled their projects.
Against this background, it comes as no surprise that all hopes for a shot in the arm are pinned on Batibouw, with the 150,000 visitors it is expected to attract. The salon’s 600-odd exhibitors will showcase their goods and services for nine days at the Brussels Expo palaces.
Despite the increased prices, investing in one’s own home is still profitable, Construction Confederation CEO Niko Demeester said in a press release.
"Mortgages are still generally low, and the best pension fund is investing in your own home. Moreover, building or renovating enables you to save on your energy bills,” he said.