Building firms throughout the UK are being forced to wait over a year for bricks, according to new research which also shows a huge price increase, with the added cost often being shouldered by consumers.
The study that the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) carried out on small and medium-sized building companies indicate that bricks are the material in the shortest supply and with the longest wait time.
Companies reported waiting up to six months for roof tiles and over a year for bricks.
According to the FMB, the brick shortage was due to an increased cost of the raw materials used to make bricks. Other factors included high demand in a strong international market and the reduced value of the sterling.
The builders targeted by the study are at a disadvantage to larger companies that are able to stockpile materials and reduce the impact of the brick shortage.
Supply problems have also caused the costs of building materials to go up. Brick prices have increased by 9% on average while roof tiles and timber have gone up by 8% and insulation is now 16% more expensive.