Brick and tile stocks at lowest levels for three years

Housebuilders have reported concerns about the availability of bricks and roof tiles, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

RICS has found that brick stocks did recover slightly in the slow period at the beginning of the year, but were now at their lowest level since the beginning of 2015.

Stocks currently represent only two months’ supply at current average demand.

Meanwhile, stocks of concrete roof tiles are also at their lowest since Q4 2013 and represent less than two weeks’ supply.

RICS explained that brickmakers had to juggle their production to match demand and, as it has been in the past, the capacity for increased production exists, but takes time to come on stream.

RICS data in January 2018 for bricks reflected the shut down of the industry over Christmas, but prior to that, deliveries had exceeded production every month since May 2016.

The production of bricks has risen steadily since the middle of 2017, peaking at 175 million in November 2017.

However, deliveries have also risen over the period to 184 million.

RICS also reported that concrete roof tiles at the end of Q4 2017 represented 2,492,000m2 of roof area covered.

But deliveries have exceeded production in seven out of the previous 10 quarters.

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