The Covid generates delays and stoppages in the works and threatens to raise the price of housing

The situation, although it affects all types of works, occurs more in small companies that are the vast majority.

Image of the construction work of a housing development in Malaga.

“We are faced with promotions that are currently experiencing delays in their work schedules,” says José María Basañez, president of Tecnitasa and president of Atasa (Professional Association of Valuation Companies).

Delays caused by the slowdown in the supply chain and the sharp increase in certain construction materials in recent months. Not forgetting the shortage of skilled labor. If the construction sector was already in turmoil, the high incidence of Covid comes to shake this particular shaker.

An explosive cocktail that can generate a perfect storm if the contagions derived from the omicron variant are prolonged in time. “Without a doubt, the casualties affect the pace of work. These types of alterations are more intense in works carried out by small teams. Small companies that, on the other hand, are the great majority ”, points out Sebastián Molinero, Andimac general secretary.

The employer representative of the reform does not hesitate to point out that “delays may be generated.” And it goes further: “There are even temporary work stoppages in those in which the project manager must isolate himself and it cannot be supervising the execution process ”.

Undoubtedly, something that ends up affecting all types of works “But the extreme of the stoppage occurs in these small companies”, clarifies Sebastián Molinero.

Price increase

If to the slowdown in the supply chain, the strong increase in some materials, and the shortage of labor we add the possible incidence of a high percentage of sick leave in construction caused by Covid infection, the consequence would be that “accumulated delays could be significantly increased”.

This is how José María Basañez thinks that he reveals what would be the derivative of this situation: “It would cause a large increase in costs, temporary decrease in supply and the consequent rise in sales prices”.

A scenario that could be transferred, above all, to one of the great ‘winners’ during the pandemic. It involves the construction of single-family homes. It should be remembered that their number has grown from 20% to 25% of the total number of houses to be built. “It is one of the segments most affected by the aforementioned reasons”, underlines the general secretary of Andimac.

And he adds: “The high degree of contagion and Contact isolation measures are putting more strain on human resources than ever before. Perhaps at this time it is less noticeable in many sectors due to the holiday effect and less activity, but it could be a major problem in January when activity should be resumed ”.

Compliance with measures

Concha Santos, president of Anci (the national association of unlisted construction companies), points out that companies, since the beginning of the pandemic, have complied with all sanitary measures. “To date, the works have not suffered delays related to sick leave due to Covid issues,” he emphasizes.

Although that does not mean that they are ‘free from sin’. “We trust that the application of correct contagion prevention measures and the good progress of vaccination allow to keep the works in progress with an adequate rhythm of execution”, He points out. Therefore, it will be necessary to see how all these aspects evolve to see what the behavior of the sector will be during 2022 and its possible repercussions.