PRICE increases swept across the local housing construction sector in the third quarter to September 2021, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStats) said in its latest quarterly Building Material Price Index (BPMI).
ZimStats said from June to September 2021, the BPMI rate of change was 13,80 percent, gaining 5,12 percentage points from the June rate of 8,68 percent.
The year-on-year BPMI stood at 42,11 percent in September 2021 compared to the same period last year.
This comes on the back of a surge in individual housing construction and private sector-led infrastructural development in the country.
The increase in prices, highlighted by the surge in the third quarter index of the BPMI was attributable to price hikes on construction materials that included 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 prices of wooden doors, nails, softwood pine, river sand, steel door frames, water heaters, bolts, switch box, tap boards, bison boards, sinks, locks, electrical cables, lavatory basins, bath showers, wall tiles, vinyl tiles, guttering gauges, 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 pipes, and roof tile 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 path to 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.
Products that contributed the most to the rise of the BMI in September 2021 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.