Belgium: Construction companies face havoc as dealers postpone, cancels scheduled works

The construction companies in Belgium increasingly have to deal with individuals postponing or cancelling work, and late payments, putting them in financial difficulties.

The majority of the sectors are feeling the harmful effects of chronic supply shortages, as well as with the prices of building materials continually increasing, the situation is “really beginning to weigh on construction companies,” the Managing Director of the construction sector’s union Bouwunie mentioned in the statement.

In April, it was reported that from the start of the year, the cost of building materials has increased by 16 percent. While construction costs were already rising dramatically in the previous year, the situation was expected to stabilise.

Instead, Russia’s full-scale military operation in Ukraine and rising energy prices shut down any hopes that a drop in costs was on the horizon.

Moreover, aside from costs rising in construction, the other expenses, from energy to groceries, increase for families. As a result of this, more customers who agreed to have work carried out are getting into financial difficulties.

Currently, six in ten construction companies are facing more late payments or even non-payments than before, a Bouwunie survey among 382 small and medium-sized construction companies (SME) found. Meanwhile, half of the construction companies surveyed are receiving fewer requests for new projects.

This also has an impact on construction companies’ own economic situation.

Due to price increases, delivery problems, and delayed payments from customers, four in ten construction companies also have to postpone their investments.

Waeytens stated, “Of course, the price increases have an impact on everyone who wants to build or renovate, but the individuals forged that the contractors themselves are also victims in this story. When clients postpone or even cancel projects, it affects the profitability of our construction companies.”

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