Price increase wave hits construction sector





A wave of price increases swept across the local housing construction sector, slowing progress of many projects, according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStats) 2021 third quarter Building Material Price Index (BPMI).

ZimStats June to September BPMI rate of change was 13, 80 percent gaining 5, 12 percentage points from June’s 8, 68 percent.

The year-on-year BPMI stood at 42.11 percent in September compared to the same time last year.

These developments come on the back of a surge in individual housing construction and private sector-led infrastructural development in the country.

Surge in the third quarter index is attributable to the increase in prices of construction material that encompasses bricks, building lime, glazed salt piping, crushed stones, glass, copper pipes, paint, tank, cement, corrugated asbestos, galvanised iron pipes, and steel windows.

The period also witnessed a rise in the pricing of wooden doors, nails, softwood pine, river sand, steel door frames, water heater, bolts, switch box, tap board, bison board, sink, locks, electrical cables, lavatory basin, bath shower, wall tiles, vinyl tiles, guttering gauge, and termite poison.

Laminated pine, skirting meranti, skirting pine, parquet blocks, and water-heaters posted a modest increase thereby contributing insignificantly to the BPMI movement.

Low-level suit, pit sand, distributor boxes, conduit pipe, and roof tiles prices declined thus contributing to the balance of the BPMI.

According to local cement manufacturers 2021 statistics, Zimbabwe’s construction sector seems to be on progression for a revival, driven by public spending on infrastructure and private development.

However, a recent increase in cement prices could restrict the recovery. On average, a 50kg bag, which ordinarily costs around US$10.50, is now around US$13.

On the flip side, month on month price index for Civil Engineering Materials Price Index (CEMPI) moved 3,53 percentage points up from August’s 4,55 percent to end the month of September at 8, 08 percent.

Contributing the most, to the rise of September 2021CEMPI were bricks, cement, deformed steel, diesel, river sand, shutter board, crushed stone and concrete pipes.

Month on month prices of asbestos pipes and bitumen remained constant thus insignificant impact to the movement of the index while sluice valve and joint compound prices went down thereby contributing to the decrease of the index.

Year-on-year Civil Engineering Material Price Index rate of change stood at 50.14 percent in September 2021, which means that prices as measured by all items, CEMPI increased at an average rate of 50.14 between September 2020 and September 2021. – Business Weekly