Building materials are becoming increasingly expensive


Lerato Khumalo

Glass for windows costs over 49 percent more than last year. The price of many other building materials has also risen noticeably. This has an impact.

Due to the consequences of the corona pandemic and the Russian attack on Ukraine, building materials have become much more expensive in the past year. The prices for almost all of these materials rose again in 2022, after there had already been high price increases in 2021, the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden announced on Wednesday. Building materials such as steel products and glass, which are produced in an energy-intensive manner, were particularly affected.

On average, bar steel was 40.4 percent more expensive in 2022 than in the previous year, bright steel 39.1 percent, reinforcing steel mesh 38.1 percent and steel pipes 32.2 percent. Metals as a whole became 26.5 percent more expensive. Flat glass for windows, glass doors and walls even became 49.3 percent more expensive. Prices for petroleum-based building materials such as bitumen also rose sharply.

According to the statistics office, the high energy prices also affected the prices of chemical products used in construction, such as plastics, paints and varnishes. The increase in diesel prices is putting pressure on the industry because it is needed to run many machines. Wood and wood products have also become significantly more expensive. Large price jumps were already observed here in the previous year.

“Overall, prices for new residential buildings rose by an average of 16.4 percent in 2022 compared to the previous year,” the statisticians explained. “This is the highest measured change compared to a previous year since the survey began in 1958.”

The price increases are having a noticeable impact on housing construction. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the number of building permits fell by 5.7 percent. This is an important early indicator for the development of construction activity.

Germany’s largest real estate group, Vonovia, announced on Tuesday that it would not start any new construction projects in 2023. “Inflation and interest rates have risen enormously and we cannot close our eyes to that,” Vonovia board member Daniel Riedl told the “Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung”.