Price Drop in Construction Materials, But Not for All

In recent years, construction materials prices such as polystyrene, iron bars, concrete paving, and adhesive for facades and interiors have decreased. However, this price drop is not uniform across all construction materials, and it should be noted that the decrease is relative to the high prices of the past few years. Very few items today cost the same as they did three years ago.

According to Petr Vaněrka, the head of the Pro-Doma construction supply network, although the demand for many items has significantly decreased, manufacturers are striving to maintain prices. Vaněrka explained that while retail prices for polystyrene were around 1,200 Czech korunas per cubic meter in 2020, they skyrocketed to 2,200 korunas last year. He added that a cubic meter of polystyrene currently costs less than a thousand korunas.

Although the demand for polystyrene at Pro-Doma has not experienced a substantial decline, the overall consumption of this material in the Czech Republic has decreased by 15% compared to the previous year, following five years of continuous growth. Pavel Zemene, chairman of the Association of Foam Polystyrene, confirmed that volumes plummeted to record lows in the second half of last year.

This year, an increase in demand is expected due to the growing need for insulation caused by expensive energy prices and anticipated European Union measures. Additionally, the cost of iron, which experienced significant inflation during the COVID-19 pandemic and the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, is also declining.

However, not all construction materials have witnessed price reductions in all retail stores. For example, the price of a concrete reinforcement mesh with a wire diameter of 0.6 millimeters and 10×10-centimeter openings, measuring 1.2×2 meters, was 500 korunas at Hornbach in April 2021. After a price shock in May of the same year, it increased to 733 korunas and is currently sold for 819 korunas.

Regarding concrete products such as paving stones, curbstones, and formwork, the demand has decreased by 40% compared to the previous year, although prices have remained relatively stable after experiencing fluctuations. Cement prices increased by 20% in January last year and another 25% in January this year but have stabilized. Brick and aerated concrete block prices have also remained relatively steady. The prices of construction adhesives have varied depending on the offers of individual retailers or manufacturers.

While some materials have seen more significant price decreases, such as certain adhesives, wooden products, including construction beams and oriented strand boards (OSB), have mostly stabilized or experienced a modest decline. However, the prices of some items, such as spruce planks, have only moderately decreased from the peak levels reached in 2020.