Tender prices for commercial construction projects rose by 7.5% in the first six months of the year, new data from the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) has found.

This is up from 6% during the second six months of last year.

Overall, the SCSI said construction price inflation nationally is now running at a rate of 14%, up from 13.4% in the previous report.

The increase during the first half of the year is the highest recorded since the SCSI began recording the information in 1988.

It is even larger than the highest rate recorded during the Celtic Tiger period - 7.4% during the second half of 2000.

The organisation claims Covid-19 lockdowns, supply chain issues and the war in Ukraine have led to the upward price pressure.

"In the previous six months the main issue was material price volatility due to supply chain issues while during the first half of 2021 it was pent-up demand for construction services as we emerged from covid lockdown," said Kevin Brady, Chair of the Quantity Surveying Professional Group in the SCSI.

"In addition to these external issues, high demand over the last year and a half has been compounded by severe labour shortages and rising labour costs."

In total it has led to tender price inflation hitting 22% over the past 18 months, the SCSI claimed.

The body said the Government must now take steps to address inflation through tackling costs under its control such as planning and utility connection charges.

"Commitments by Government to reform planning procedures is welcomed by the SCSI," said SCSI President Kevin James.

"The SCSI believes Government should reduce overall levels of risk and costs of delivery where they can such as reducing planning delays and timelines," he said.

The inflation is fairly uniform across the country, running at 8% outside Dublin and 7% in the capital.

Materials inflation is also a problem.

"The products which are seeing the highest increases include insulation, plasterboard and sanitaryware. Rebar – steel used in reinforced concrete and copper - is down while the price of timber products – softwoods, OSB boards, plywood etc – remain high but the rate of increase is levelling off," Mr Brady said.