Prices of building materials up 30%, shaking up housing dreams | Madurai News
Madurai: The prices of building materials, including cement, sand, blue metal and iron, rose 30% in just two weeks, leading to a corresponding increase in construction costs much to consumers’ shock. Many say they won’t be able to finish their homes if this is the trend.
G Annadurai of Gomathypuram, who has started building two more chambers, says a price hike of this magnitude is unprecedented. “When I started building in March, I bought a ton of iron bars for Rs 58,000, but the same went to Rs 74,000 on Friday. This will make it very difficult for manufacturers like me, ”he said.
S Shankar from Vilangudi says he started construction on his 1,200 square foot house with a loan of Rs 50 lakh. “Now even if I reduce all establishment costs, it will cost me over Rs 80 lakh which is beyond my means,” he said.
He points out that many like him should start repaying unfinished bank loans when the specified repayment period begins.
While real estate developers who have started projects have put them on hold, individuals who have obtained bank loans are in dire straits. Mr. Ganeshan had decided to start construction of his house in December 2019. He started the work but it slowed down because of the Covid.
Realizing that he would not be able to continue construction due to escalating costs, he tried to sell the incomplete structure, but could not find a buyer.
“My estimate was Rs 50 lakh, and now with the bank loan I need to sell it for at least Rs 90 lakh,” he said. An Asokan from Makkal Sakthi Iyakkam, who is in construction, says that an increase in the price of cement is always expected when a new government takes over because there is a big lobby for it. “But an increase from Rs 370 to Rs 520 in less than a month is way too much,” he said, adding that the government should take action to curb prices. Another reason for the rise in prices would be the rise in fuel prices.
Engineer G Raja, a contractor, said builders were badly affected in the last lockdown, but the price of materials made it even more difficult for them.