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Steady As She Goes

The latest authoritative Palmer report acknowledges a buoyant housing market and a growing economy that will sustain growth in the market to 2018

 

In his study* there is now detected a growing consumer confidence, ‘burgeoning’ housing market and a low interest rate environment that has helped boost the domestic glazing market in Great Britain in 2013.

Palmer believes that growth looks set to continue through to 2018. “We’re entering the longest period of prolonged growth for this market since the 1990s,” insisted Robert Palmer, Director, Palmer Market Research (PMR).

After continuing to decline in the first quarter of 2013, the market has ‘dramatically’ switched to growth in the second quarter, ending up for the year nearly 5% higher at £3.78 billion. By sector, the market in new build housing spurted by 17% and in home improvements by a more modest 4%. Only social housing refurbishment performed poorly with a decline by just over 2%.

Palmer accepts that government initiatives, notably the Help to Buy scheme, have had an important impact on new build and will continue to do so through to 2018 and even beyond. Rising interest rates will probably be something of a dampener but even so by 2018, Palmer states that the market for new build is forecast to be 50% bigger than it was in 2013.

The strengthening housing market itself is also helping home improvements as homeowners feel that these are now worth making again. The higher number of housing transactions boosted the replacement market which saw growth for the first time in 10 years. Overall, the home improvement market will grow by nearly a fifth between 2013 and 2018.

However and more negatively, funding issues after the winding down of the previous Labour government’s Decent Homes Programme, will mean little, or no growth in social housing refurbishment over the period to 2018.

Palmer points out that 2013 saw other important trends. Aluminium started to make a comeback with its share growing from 5% to 8%. Disappointingly, bi-fold doors failed to maintain the growth it saw in previous years; rather than increasing, the market dropped by 7%. Although Palmer’s forecast has been downgraded since last year, the market for bi-folds is still seen as growing in the long term not least because they are an ‘aspirational’ part of the growing trend to brick built extensions.

In the window market, vertical sliding sash and tilt and turn styles saw growth of 20% in 2013, while in the entrance door market, composites increased their dominance to reach a 40% share.

The conservatory market has continued to disappoint with a 2% decline in 2013 but that masked a near 40% growth in replacements and a 10% decline in first time installations.

Triple glazing is still in its infancy in the UK market. In 2013 incidence in windows was between 1.5% and 2.5%, according to sector, but more than double that in entrance doors. “Triple glazing is bound to grow strongly in the coming years as it becomes an irresistible marketing challenge for suppliers” concluded Robert Palmer.

 

* The Window, Door and Conservatory Markets in Housing 2014 Edition.

 

 

Caption 1         Trends in the market 2007-2018.

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