Fitzgerald attributed the hike in pay to the increasing demand for housebuilders (Reuters)

Bricklayers' pay has jumped by 20% in the past six months, according to an industry expert.

"I have evidence of us paying brickies 20% more than six to nine months ago," Greg Fitzgerald, chief executive of Galliford Try, told the Evening Standard.

Fitzgerald also said that good bricklayers can expect to earn £40,000 per year or even more in London.

He attributed the hike in pay to the increasing demand for housebuilders as the UK government's Help to Buy scheme boosts demand in the sector.

Fitzgerald added: "Pretty much, since Help to Buy on April 1, we have gone from an environment where if you made a mistake on a job and needed twice as many brickies you would just go and pick them up to a completely different ball game.

"We can see build inflation starting to come through for the first time in four or five years."

But the chief executive warned that the sector is also finding it difficult to source materials such as bricks and breeze blocks.

"There is an element of panicking going on whereby some builders are ordering more than they need," Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald's estimate follows the news that construction sector output in the UK increased by an impressive 2.2% in July, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The body also revealed that the jump was predominantly due to a rise in new work (3.2%) and a small gain (0.6%) in repair and maintenance jobs.

However, Fitzgerald said there has been no "shot in the arm" seen by the housebuilding industry.

A report may also pour cold water onto Fitgerald's good news.

A heatwave caused house prices to tumble by 1.5% on the month in September as buyers and sellers were distracted from the housing market by the weather, according to property website Rightmove.