Friday, October 21, 2016

7% growth per annum expected in the UK Bi-fold doors market despite Brexit fears

In 2015, the UK market for bi-fold doors was estimated to have grown by 12%, according to a new report by AMA Research, with similar growth expected for 2016. Rising from a low installed base, bi-fold demand has increased sharply in recent years driven strongly by significant growth in the home improvement market – both new extensions and replacement -and changing tastes in favour of opening up the home and garden area.
The bi-fold doors market is a relatively new and expanding sector, worth over £70m at manufacturers prices – and much higher in terms of installed value.
As indicated above, a key driver of market growth has been consumer interest in bi-folds – with the residential market accounting for over 50% of sales - while suppliers themselves have contributed to the growth of the market through new developments in frame materials, styles, colours and features. In terms of product mix, exterior bi-folds dominate the sector by both volume and value due to residential use – although commercial interior bi-fold doors account for a significant share of the market.
AMA’s report assesses the market by frame material and, while aluminium is the dominant frame material, timber accounts for around 20% of the market. Overall, the trend for maximising natural light has resulted in increased glazing used for entrance and patio doors and internal doors. Home extensions are a key market – with around 200,000 extensions per annum offering good market prospects for manufacturers and installers alike with bi-folds popular where homeowners are extending kitchens/living areas and want a more open link to the outdoors.
In the commercial office sector, bi-folds have increased in use as interior doors which offer natural light, but offer flexibility by enabling rooms to be expanded or contracted easily. They are also popular for car showrooms and similar businesses allowing easier movement of vehicles and products. Bi-folds have also been in use for many years in the leisure sector as exterior doors for restaurants and bistros, and internal space dividers in the health & fitness sector. Within the leisure sector, replacements feature importantly as older style bi-folds are changed for newer styles and frame materials and more easily operating features.
“The supply structure remains complex and fragmented, but increasingly competitive, as many window and door companies now offer bi-fold doors” said Andrew Hartley, Director of AMA Research. “A number of companies that originally focused on single materials – eg. aluminium, PVCu or timber – have extended product ranges to include alternative material products in order to widen channel exposure. Bi-fold doors have also seen wider distribution generally in recent years, particularly through retail DIY/home improvement multiples and online.”
Current AMA forecasts indicate steady to good growth into the medium-term with the bi-fold doors market growing by around 7% per annum to 2020. Factors likely to have a positive impact on volume and value growth include housebuilding completions, the house moving market, trend for higher value replacements and steady levels of home improvement projects. Bi-fold doors are likely to remain a key product sector for retail window and door companies with second/third time replacements likely to impact on the market in future years.
The impact of Brexit on the residential newbuild and RMI sectors remains extremely difficult to forecast and implications are likely to become clearer as the UK eventually begins the process of negotiation. However, as a minimum, the uncertainty created by the situation may cause the market to become more volatile and may lead to reduced levels of spending on home improvements – though the appeal of bi-fold doors looks looks set to underpin demand going forward.

The ‘Bi-fold Doors Market Report – UK 2016-2020 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Higher Education and Student Accommodation Construction - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • The total value of the UK student accommodation sector is estimated to be around £25bn.
  • Current forecasts are for a substantial increase in capital investment over the coming years. At over £17.1bn, this is around 60% higher than the previous 4-year average.
  • In 2013 the private sector formed around 39% of supply, but in 2016 this has increased to over 46%.
  • Only 18% of students are currently catered for in university-operated halls, with overseas student numbers forecast to rise to 870,000 by 2020.
  • Previously, growth in the private sector was driven by large players (UNITE, UPP and Liberty Living), but new growth is coming from new companies such as Pure Student Living, Urbanest and the Student Housing Company.

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Higher Education and Student Accommodation Construction Sector Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Door and Window Fabricators - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • The market for door and window fabricators is estimated to have grown by 9% since 2013, with an estimated value of £2.1bn at trade prices in 2015. 
  • Residential windows are the largest sector, accounting for around 35% of the market.
  • Commercial windows and curtain walling account for around 25% of the market and have experienced some recovery in recent years.
  • Bifold doors are a major growth area in the last 3 years.
  • While PVCu dominates the domestic window market, composites have gained significant share in the residential door market – now accounting for around 30% of the market.

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Door and Window Fabricators Market Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Data Centre Construction - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • The market for data centre construction is estimated to be valued at around £1bn in 2015 with data sovereignty issues underpinning the market.
  • Connectivity providers, such as carriers, mobile operators and ISPs account for the largest sub-sector within the co-location providers accounting for 35% of this sector.
  • An estimated 80% of all data centre space is accounted for by owner occupiers.
  • It is estimated that new build work accounts for a 34% share of the market by value, down from 2013, reflecting high levels of new build at that time.
  • In terms of the estimated cost breakdown for the build of an average data centre, materials account for the largest share at 56%. 

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Data Centre Construction Market Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Building Boards - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • The UK building boards market is worth around £1 billion. 
  • Polymer boards are the largest sector, with ‘specialist boards’ growing and account for over 10% of the market.
  • PIR insulation boards are the largest sector in the rigid polymer boards market, but XPS accounts for an annual 20% share.
  • The market for specialist boards is worth over £100m, with calcium silicate boards one of the leading sectors.
  • Building Merchants and Specialist Distributors are the leading distribution channels.

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Building Boards Market Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Small & Medium Renewable Energy - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • Solar photovoltaics (PV) accounts for over 80% of all renewable electricity under the FIT scheme.
  • By installed value, heat pumps account for some 7% of the market in 2016.
  • Only 9% of the small-medium onshore windpower sector is residential in 2016.
  • Solar thermal installations continue to fall, dropping to c 25,000 m2 in 2015.
  • Small biomass boilers (<200kw) accounted for 69% of all biomass boiler installations in 2015.

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Small & Medium Renewable Energy Market Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

12% increase in the market for kitchen and bathroom products in new housebuilding in 2015

New housebuilding is an important end use sector for kitchen and bathroom products, and in 2015 it was estimated to account for approximately 13% of the overall UK kitchen and bathroom products market. The market for kitchen and bathroom products in newbuild housing increased by an estimated 12% in 2015 to reach a value in excess of £700m, reflecting the continued steady improvement in the UK economy, consumer confidence levels and significant growth in the housebuilding market.
Kitchen appliances accounted for the largest sector of kitchen and bathroom products in the housebuilders market with 40% share by value. Other key product sectors reviewed in AMA Research’s report include kitchen furniture, worktops, sinks and tapware, bathroom products and shower products.
Following a static period between 2011 and 2013, market conditions have steadily improved in 2014 and 2015 with housebuilding levels showing good growth, supporting new build kitchen sales via contractors, developers, distributors and merchants. The shift towards three and four bedroom homes has supported larger new build kitchens and additional utility room installations in the new build sector. Most housebuilders offer homebuyers the option to customise their new kitchen and use predefined ranges of products such as worktops, splashbacks, furniture, tiles, lighting and appliances.
Key trends in new build kitchens include; a focus on layout and design, growing popularity of kitchen-diners with a seating area, growing demand for ‘hotel-style’ quality interiors, increasing focus on durability, particularly in the social housing sector, increasing usage of well-known reputable brands of kitchen appliances in order to attract buyers and an increasing choice of worktop materials and designs, with built-in or integrated appliances installed in the majority of new build homes. Kitchen taps have become more advanced with added value options including pull-out hoses for food preparation, integral water filters and the hot water boiling tap.
Trends worth noting in the new build bathroom sector include; a continued trend towards 2+ bathrooms / ensuites, increasing investment in quality fixtures and fittings offering longevity and luxury, minimalist designs, ‘future proofing’ of bathrooms so they can be easily adapted to changing needs driven by an ageing UK population, increasing popularity of wetroom areas, and higher usage of digital technology in the premium sector in applications such as digital shower controls, spa baths, sensor operated mixer taps etc. Despite the general trend towards showering, a bath continues to be an essential feature in the main bathroom in the vast majority of new build homes.
With a growing proportion of flats and apartments expected in the longer term and the small size of the average UK bathroom and kitchen, there will be a continuing demand for space-saving solutions, such as wall-hung sanitaryware, clever kitchen storage, slim-line appliances and compact bathroom furniture. Housebuilders are continuing to focus on family homes, which should drive sales of larger, higher value kitchens. Increased choice is likely to become more important as housebuilders compete to attract homebuyers, with branded ‘connected’ appliances, solid surface or stone worktops, digital showers, freestanding baths, wetroom areas etc. being increasingly offered.
Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research said “The new housing sector continued to recover until mid-2016, underpinned by mortgage assistance schemes such as Help to Buy, a more buoyant economy and undersupply for a number of years, however, the referendum decision to leave the EU has resulted in some economic uncertainty and housebuilders are likely to remain cautious. Consequently, this may result in a lower level of housing starts in 2017, which will affect volume sales of bathroom and kitchen products into the new housing sector.”
Although Brexit may have a negative effect on the construction industry and a decline is likely in some sectors including housing - particularly in volume terms – underlying demand and the possibility of higher costs for imported raw materials and products, may support value growth in the housebuilding as well as the kitchen and bathroom sectors. The value of kitchen and bathroom products in the housebuilding market is forecast to grow by around 4% between 2016-2020.

The ‘Kitchen and Bathroom Products in the Housebuilding Market Report – UK 2016-2020 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Garden Buildings and Structures - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • The Domestic ‘Garden Buildings and Structures’ market is worth around £300 million in 2016.
  • Garden storage accounts for over 30% of the market, but buildings ‘for all use’, log cabins and summerhouses account for around 45% share.
  • Modular garden rooms are valued at around £40 million.
  • The top 3 suppliers account for a combined share of 20-25% of the market.
  • DIY multiples account for around 40% of log cabins/ summerhouse sales, but Direct Supply accounts for over 50% of larger garden buildings.

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Domestic Garden Buildings and Structures Market Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

4% growth in the UK Home Improvement Multiples Market in 2015

The UK home improvement multiples market was worth around £7.2bn in value terms (RSP) in 2015, following an increase of around 4% in 2015. Overall market conditions have improved in recent years following a period of falling incomes, rising household expenses and employment insecurities, with sales in the home improvement multiples sector having increased steadily since 2012, a year when particularly poor weather had a marked impact on demand for products used outdoors.
The largest product category in the home improvement multiples sector is garden, domestic landscaping & leisure, which accounts for over 20% of total sales. Other major product groups include building supplies, lighting & electrical, tools, hardware & PPE and decorating products. Underpinning the market over the last few years has been a combination of factors; growth in the general economy, rising incomes, growth in online shopping, a strong housing market and much better summer weather in 2013 and 2014.
However, growth has largely been constrained by a shift away from householders doing DIY jobs towards using tradesmen. This has been most noticeable among the under 35s, where a general lack of skills / aptitude and a preference for spending money and time on other things has developed over the last few years. Also, the ongoing housing shortage and accompanying rises in house prices and mortgage deposits has made it harder for potential first time buyers to buy a home, forcing them to rent from private landlords.
Affluent, and often older, homeowners have also been generally more likely to use tradesmen to work on extensions, loft & basement conversions and garden landscaping. This influx of skilled workers from other EU countries has led to tradesmen offering highly competitive prices. However, there is widespread concern about skills shortages, and whether this situation will continue post the decision to leave the EU remains to be seen.
Tradesmen typically use trade suppliers such as builders’ merchants, trade counters and specialist distributors, and this trend to GSI (Get Someone In) has contributed towards some loss of share for the home improvement multiples in certain product markets, although some of the leading multiples are also significant trade suppliers.
“In response to increasing competition in the core product markets in recent years from general merchandise multiples, specialist online home improvement products retailers, grocery multiples, discount chains and catalogue stores, the traditional home improvement multiples have been implementing major changes, including undertaking store rationalisation programmes and introducing new formats” said Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research. Other strategies have included expanding product lines into non-DIY offerings such as homewares, electronic security equipment, lighting and kitchens and bathrooms“.
Demographics changes, digital technology and developments in consumer behaviour have fundamentally changed the nature of home improvement retail in recent years, and companies will need to ensure they keep pace with consumer demands. In response to this, some retailers have invested extensively in online retail and 'click and collect' services. As consumer shopping habits evolve, home improvement retailing may become even more price-driven, with continued growth in own brand sales. Even though the general economy and consumer confidence have improved between 2012 and 2016, many consumers have not reverted to ‘trading up’, since becoming generally aware of the quality the less familiar brands stocked by retailers.
Following the EU referendum, there is considerable uncertainty as to how the UK economy will fare over the next few years, with many experts forecasting a recession in the building and construction industry. As with the market for building materials in general, it is expected there will be a marked impact on home improvement retailing, as householders cut back on spending on major projects. Banks may also be even more wary of lending money for significant home improvement projects, especially if lack of consumer confidence leads to a fall in house prices. Since many home improvement products are imported, a weak pound is likely to drive up prices of commodities from overseas and may impact on suppliers and retailers’ margins. As a result of this uncertainty, our forecasts indicate that growth rates will fall from 2016 onwards.

The ‘Home Improvement Multiples Market Report – UK 2016-2020 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Friday, September 16, 2016

23% growth over two years in the UK passive fire protection market

The UK market for passive fire protection products has seen good growth during the last two years, in line with increased construction output. According to a new report by AMA Research, strong value growth of 23% was achieved between 2013 and 2015, driven by higher levels of construction and RMI activity. Forecasts indicate a more subdued performance in the short term, with lower levels of construction activity anticipated following the decision to leave the EU.
The passive fire protection market is comprised of fire resistant doors, fittings and intumescent seals, cables, partitions and suspended ceilings, glass, structural protection and ductwork and damper systems. This market is highly dependent on new construction activity, particularly in the key end use sectors of offices, education, healthcare and industrial, with product development and regulatory changes also key factors contributing to value growth in recent years.
Fire resistant doors, fittings and seals represents the largest sector of the market, accounting for around 60% of total market value. Product development is an important driver, and recent innovations include intumescent coatings with shortened drying times; electronic fire door closers that are linked to fire alarm systems; and more flexible fire stopping pipe collars that allow a greater range of applications compared to conventional collars.
Within the passive fire protection market, there are a number of vertically integrated manufacturers-installers operating across the fire and security sector. In addition, there are a number of manufacturers operating in a specific sector, e.g. suspended ceilings, offering fire resistance within their product range, while others are specialist manufacturers of passive fire protection products. Other key suppliers are large multi-national corporations with interests across a broad range of sectors and products.
Distribution channels and routes to market vary depending on the type of fire protection product. Some manufacturers also install their own products, and specialist installers play a significant role, as specific fire-related expertise is often required to ensure passive fire protection will perform as expected in the event of a fire.
Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research said: “Underlying prospects for the fire protection market remain positive, though the short term growth is brought into question by the recent referendum and the likely resulting shock to the economy. That said, the medium term forecasts are stable and growth in the market is anticipated at around 1-3% per annum until 2020.”
New office construction, a key market for fire protection products, is forecast to experience a moderate fall in the short term with delays in investment and expansion expected following the Brexit decision. This may impact on demand in a number of product sectors in the passive fire protection market including structural, suspended ceilings and partitions.
Education is also a major sector for fire protection products such as structural, ceilings, doors and cabling. Public sector investment is the key driver for this sector, and the most recent Government Spending Review forecasts that the level of investment in new school building will increase significantly over the next few years. Capital building programmes in the higher education sector might also provide impetus to the market in the short to medium term.

The ‘Passive Fire Protection Market Report – UK 2016-2020 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.