The combined impacts of Brexit and Covid, and a general overheating of the market, are leading to materials shortages and consequent delays in progressing developments, according to the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations.

GWSF says bricks are high on the list of many contractors’ shortages, along with steel, timber, cement products, roof tiles and windows. Even the closure of the Suez Canal earlier this year has led to shortages of, and surcharges on, some materials such as composite GRP (glass reinforced plastic) doors.

The Forum says it hopes not all shortages will mean eventual price increases, but that this seems inevitable in some cases, with reports from members of having to re-tender because the original tender period has expired.

Other members are reporting that quoted prices are being held for a limited period, such as 30 days, or less in a few cases. And it now seems more common for contractors to qualify their tenders so that the price for some items is not guaranteed for the duration of the tender acceptance period.

GWSF Director David Bookbinder said: “Everyone involved in development expects hitches and hiccups along the way – it’s par for the course, and we know our members have become adept at taking these things in their stride. Hopefully things will improve before too long.

“But feedback from members suggests that the double whammy of Brexit and Covid is making things particularly challenging at the moment. Whilst we can have some optimism that the impact of Covid might gradually reduce, it’s more of a worry that the effects of Brexit may last into the medium and longer term.

“Also it’s unlikely that existing stock will escape the impact. Some members told us that they expected materials shortages to affect their planned maintenance and modernisation programmes too.”