Home buyers pay for building site thefts

Construction firms are passing the cost of stolen building materials and equipment onto home buyers, even though they have claimed the cash back on insurance, home owners lobby group Eigen Huis (VEH) claims in its January magazine.

‘By claiming the damage on insurance and then buying the items again at a discount, builders can benefit twice over,’ the VEH said. ‘This is one reason why so little is done to prevent theft on Dutch building sites.’
An independent expert quoted by the organisation estimates that builders over-estimate the cost of construction by up to 19%.
The VEH began investigating theft from building sites after a police probe on the Leidsche Rijn project near Utrecht. ‘Copper, central heating boilers, entire lorry-loads of supplies are disappearing,’ the VEH said.
One police source estimates total theft could be as high as €100m. Construction firm association Bouwend Nederland told the magazine that these thefts were extremely irritating but that it is too simple to say builders pass costs straight onto home buyers.
Meanwhile, property website Spacemakers estimates the amount actually paid for a house rose by 5% last year, while asking prices rose 1.8%.

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