By LYNAIRE MUNNINGS
THE Bahamian Contractors Association (BCA) says post pandemic inflation has influenced an increase in construction materials by around “60 percent”.
In an interview with The Tribune, BCA president Leonard Sands said the increase in construction and material costs has come across the board due to inflation.
“We understand that inflation from the government’s indication and on the ground, have impacted an increase in construction and materials across the board. Construction material on the whole post the pandemic has increased probably some 60 percent,” he said yesterday.
According to Mr Sands, in addition to inflation contributing to the rising cost of construction, the demand in other regions plays a significant role.
“More often we are finding that it’s just the results of demands in other regions where persons are purchasing supplies and grabbing them up, and so suppliers are having to sell to the most profitable market.
“If somebody is offering double what you are selling, you are going to sell it to them. You are going to say to the other customer you are getting strong demand here what are you going to do? So, it’s affecting us.”
Asked by The Tribune whether he was concerned inflation will discourage new construction in the country, Mr Sands said: “I think it is a concern and I think it should be a concern that everyone looks at. I think not unless they are driven by other factors where no matter the cost, they are going to see a recoup in their investment. I think it is something that should be watched and be mindful that it could impact the amount of new construction.”
Following the pandemic, the president said there is a high demand for construction, specifically in Grand Bahama and Abaco as a result of Dorian.
“To speak categorically across the board is a bit reckless, but I can say that there is a very, very strong demand and activity in the islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco, obviously post Dorian,” he told this newspaper. “Whether it’s costly or not you still have to reconstruct homes and businesses that were once there and destroyed in the hurricane.”
Mr Sands explained that some contractors are heavily benefiting from the peak, while others may be finding fewer opportunities.
He advised members of the public to “shop around” when seeking a contractor.
“The only advice I would give to the public is when seeking a contractor’s work, shop around. Get as much estimates and pricing if possible, to determine whether this is the best price that you are getting to do said work.”