Higher prices allied with a housing project boom boosted construction costs in Saudi Arabia by nearly 27% in the first six weeks of 2020, according to local contractors.
From an average Saudi riyals 1,100 ($293) in 2019, the construction cost of one square metre soared to nearly riyals 1,400 ($373) this year, they said.
"The increase was caused by a large rise in the prices of building materials and an upswing in construction activity, mainly in housing projects," the Arabic language daily Almadina said, quoting Abdullah Saeedi, who owns a contracting firm.
Another local contractor, Abdul Aziz Minshawi, said the prices of cement, steel and other building materials have increased this year due to an upturn in project activity.
The increase, he added, has pushed up construction costs which will remain high this year before the market becomes saturated and stabilizes.
According to Abdullah Al-Sahli, another contracting company owner, steel prices have sharply risen over the past few months due to housing construction boom.
His figures showed one tonne of steel currently costs around riyals 2,500 ($666) compared with nearly riyals 2,280 ($608) in late 2019 and that a bag of cement has increased to one of its highest levels of riyals 13 ($3.5).
(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)
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