Monday, April 16, 2018

Contract Cleaning Market - 5 Key Facts

  • Cleaning and hygiene services often form part of a total facilities management contract, typically comprising around 12-15% of the total contract value.
  • Contract cleaning is estimated to account for around 70% of the total UK market for cleaning services in 2016.
  • The commercial sector, particularly offices, remain a key end use sector in the cleaning market with a share of 43%.
  • Nearly 90% of the firms competing in the industry employ less than 10 individuals.
  • Market estimates indicate that contract cleaners account for the bulk of cleaning equipment sales, estimated at around 75% of the market.
These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's 'Contract Cleaning Market Report - UK 2017-2021 Analysis' available for purchase now. 

Monday, April 09, 2018

UK market for bricks, blocks and precast concrete products at highest level since 2007

The market for bricks, blocks and precast concrete products was worth over £2.1bn in 2017 and has grown by around 10% in value terms since 2015, and by almost 50% since 2012. This is the highest value achieved since just prior to the recession in 2007, and market value is forecast to exceed this in 2018. The products covered in this market are bricks, blocks, precast concrete and natural and cast stone products, with precast concrete products representing the single largest product sector.
“Growth in this market has been underpinned by recovery and rapid recent growth in the housebuilding sector in particular, as well as higher levels of output from key non-residential sectors including infrastructure, commercial offices, education and entertainment & leisure. Non-residential output remains somewhat volatile, particularly since the EU vote, which introduced a level of uncertainty affecting both business confidence and levels of investment” commented Keith Taylor, Director at AMA Research.
There are negative factors currently impacting growth in the market. Lower levels of consumer confidence and downward pressure on household incomes have impacted private RMI activity and are likely to constrain spending going forward with little signs of the squeeze on household disposable incomes being relieved. Additionally, both the bricks and blocks sectors have experienced recent supply issues as suppliers have struggled to cope with the significant rise in demand.
Demand for bricks has accelerated since the housebuilding sector returned to growth in 2014 and entered a period of sustained recovery after several years of volatility. In March and May 2017 brick sales in the UK rose to their highest levels for a decade and builders’ merchants and other distributors were reported to be replenishing stock levels after an industry-wide destocking in early 2016.
The precast concrete blocks market is also performing well, and in 2017 sales reached their highest levels in a decade in value terms following 14% growth over the period 2015-2017. One of the most important drivers of this growth has been the significant and sustained rise in housebuilding activity, with the residential sector a heavy user of a wide range of precast concrete products, including blocks. Demand is also underpinned by positive trends in non-residential construction where the main drivers for growth are the infrastructure, education and commercial office sectors.
Precast concrete structural products comprise of precast flooring, precast panels, panelised building systems and miscellaneous precast products such as structural frames and columns. Demand for precast concrete structural products has continued to rise, with the market worth 25% more in 2017 than in 2013. Output is strongly linked to the performance of sectors such as infrastructure, education, commercial offices, industrial, and entertainment & leisure – all strong users of precast concrete structural products.
Going forward, the individual product categories covered in the report are all expected to continue growing. However, the annual rates of growth are likely to be lower than those experienced 2013-16, at around 2-3%, but expected to rise more strongly 2021-22, once the Brexit-related uncertainties have been resolved and the market begins to regain some stability. Future demand will be underpinned by sustained growth in residential output, although the rate of growth, in terms of both newbuild and RMI, is expected be slower than that experienced 2013-16.
The ‘Bricks, Blocks and Precast Concrete Products Market Report – UK 2018-2022’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services with over 25 years’ experience within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

UK underfloor heating market forecast to grow by 7% in 2018

The underfloor heating (UFH) market has performed well over the last few years, driven by good levels of commercial and domestic construction and RMI, and now accounts for almost 7% of the total UK heating systems sector. More recent growth can also be attributed to rising energy prices and concerns over fuel bills, and the fact that UFH is now seen as a more affordable mainstream heating option. In 2017, the market grew by 6%, with similar growth forecast for 2018.

The domestic sector accounts for almost two-thirds of the overall UFH market value, and includes new build activity by housebuilders, the self-build market and RMI / DIY retrofit projects in residential homes. Non-domestic applications account for the remainder. Although large-scale health and education projects represent the most significant non-domestic end-user markets, opportunities are arising in the care home, industrial, warehousing, leisure and entertainment, commercial office and retail sectors.
Water-based underfloor heating makes up the largest share by value, compared to electric systems. The supply structure is dominated by direct supply, with some manufacturers and other specialists offering a ‘supply and fit’ service. Elsewhere, UFH systems increasingly form a core component of the product ranges of companies such as tile manufacturers and kitchen and bathroom specialists. DIY multiples and merchants also continue to play a major role. Much of the recent growth in the market has come from online retailers, the number of which continues to expand.
Factors that influence demand for underfloor heating include housebuilding activity, which is expected to continue at a steady pace, as demand for new and affordable housing is likely to remain a major political issue. The conversion of commercial office spaces into multi-residential flats and apartments, particularly in areas of high population density, should create additional opportunities for UFH, as they are likely to be smaller in size and high-spec.
Ease of installation continues to be an important consideration within construction, given the ongoing skills shortages and a need to reduce both build time and cost. This is expected to contribute towards further growth in modular build/off-site construction, which should benefit the UFH market. Retrofit activity in both the domestic and commercial sectors are also expected to see steady growth.
In addition, the commitment towards further development of the renewable energy sector and sustainable homes should continue, irrespective of whether the Government meets its 2020 targets, and this is likely to favour adoption of UFH.  Growth will also be driven by product development focused on flexibility and maximising individual control of systems, which is likely to increase the efficiency of UFH systems further, and the increasing uptake of intelligent technology.
 “Although the market value has increased by almost 25% since 2013, there remains significant scope for growth in this sector” said Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research.
“The level of installations remains low compared with European countries such as Germany and the Nordic nations. Penetration is forecast to continue to grow with demand driven by concerns over volatile energy bills, ongoing running costs of systems and maximising comfort, and the fact that underfloor heating is becoming a more mainstream product.”
The Underfloor Heating Market Report – UK 2018-2022 report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services with over 25 years’ experience within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Building Insulation Products Market - 5 Key Facts

  • Mineral wool products account for 30% of the insulation products market by value. 
  • It is estimated that in 2016 the domestic new build sector accounted for just under a third of the market.
  • Glass wool rolls and quilts accounted for nearly 60% of the UK retrofit loft market for insulation by volume 2016.
  • PIR/PUR boards are the most widely used insulation product for flat roofing, accounting for just over 60% of area installed.
  • Builders' merchants and DIY multiples account for some 18-20% of the market.
These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's 'Building Insulation Products Market Report - UK 2017-2021 Analysis' available for purchase now. 

Commercial and Industrial Doors and Shutters Market - 5 Key Facts

  • An upward trend in new build construction output for the private commercial and industrial sectors has resulted in 18% value growth for the commercial and industrial doors and shutters market between 2012 and 2017.
  • Personnel doors have benefited from the increasing demand for automated pedestrian access doors and have seen market share increase to 59% in 2017.
  • Growth rates for the industrial doors sector have been more subdued than for personnel doors in recent years, but a steady level of servicing and maintenance expenditure has helped smooth out demand levels.
  • The supply structure is highly fragmented with a large number of small companies and few large key players. No single supplier dominates due to the wide and varied product mix.
  • Positive but modest growth, 1-2% annual gain, is currently forecast to 2021 reflecting the slowing trend for commercial and industrial sector new orders as well as the uncertainties surrounding the Brexit process.
These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's 'Commercial and Industrial Doors and Shutters Market Report - UK 2017-2021 Analysis' available for purchase now. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Distribution market for garden products in the UK worth around £5bn

The UK domestic garden products distribution market was worth an estimated £4.9bn in 2017 at retail selling prices (RSP), representing an increase of 3% compared to the previous year. Both the weather and the state of the economy influence growth rates within the garden products distribution market. A strong interest in home improvement, which extends to the garden, has also stimulated growth in this sector.
Key product sectors in the market are horticulture, garden sundries and garden buildings, which all account for a share of 20% or more by value, and garden equipment, garden leisure and garden chemicals, with slightly lower shares. Each sub-sector is subject to different influences and trends, for example, investment in ‘higher ticket’ items such as paving, walling and conservatories may be deferred if consumer confidence drops, and fencing sales may be boosted by wet and windy weather.
Whilst some parts of the garden products market may be considered comparatively mature, such as barbecues, conservatories and garden furniture, the desire to reflect more premium materials and styles is encouraging trade up sales. Developing areas within the market include garden rooms and garden decoration. Artificial grass has also risen in popularity, given the minimal maintenance required.
A notable trend has been the desire to maximise recreational use of the garden including for socialising and dining ‘al fresco’. This has helped to sustain growth in the sector as the garden is perceived as an additional room in the home. Other practical uses include use of the garden for home working and storage resulting in an increase in sales of garden buildings and clever use of space. Environmental aspects have become more prevalent, with greater concern over the provenance of materials, such as timber and ingredients used in garden control products and fertilisers.
Although demand for housing remains high in the UK, the rates of housebuilding and home moving activity have been slow in recent years, impacting negatively on the garden products market. The average size of the UK garden is also diminishing and this, coupled with an increase in apartments, has given rise to products which suit a smaller space, such as ‘vertical gardens’ and greater use of pots and containers which can be re-located from home to home and suit balconies.
“The DIY sector and garden centres account for the majority of sales of garden products, reflecting their diverse product range, especially in garden equipment and leisure products, but these are facing increasing competition from other channels - in particular online specialists, but also discount chains and grocery stores” said Fiona Watts, Editor at AMA Research. “Although most larger DIY outlets have embraced the internet as a distribution channel, there is significant scope for existing retailers to develop internet sales, particularly in the garden centre sector.”
The UK is undergoing a period of political and economic uncertainty, as negotiations for Brexit continue. This has created a number of issues, such as potential seasonal labour shortages within the horticultural sector and the rising costs of imported garden products and components. Price competition will, however, constrain market value to some degree, despite any price increases, due to the rising cost of imports.
Our market forecasts assume moderate growth within the garden products distribution sector, from 2018 – 2022, underpinned by sustained demand for housing and interest in home improvement. The market is forecast to grow by around 2% per year until the end of the forecast period, assuming UK weather patterns over this period are not severe.
The Garden Products Distribution Market Report – UK 2018-2022 report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services with over 25 years’ experience within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

UK contract floorcoverings market worth in excess of £1bn

After achieving strong growth of 4% in 2015, growth rates in the contract floorcoverings market were slightly disappointing in 2016 and 2017. A number of factors had a negative impact on the market, including increasing inflation towards the end of the period and adverse currency movements as an indirect result of the Brexit vote, affecting imports. However, despite reduced growth rates, the value of the contract flooring market exceeded £1bn in 2017. The contract sector accounts for around half of the total floorcoverings market, and its share continues to increase.

There has been only modest change to the product mix in this sector recent years. Carpet has decreased in share marginally, mainly reflecting a growth in vinyl flooring, which is now the second largest product group. The growth of vinyl has been underpinned by the increased specification of safety flooring and the more recent trend for luxury vinyl tiles to be installed in the retail and office sectors. The medium-term outlook is for similarly modest changes to the product mix, with carpet expected to continue to lose share marginally to vinyl products and floor tiles in the period to 2022.

UK manufacturers remain under pressure from imports, particularly from the larger overseas floorcoverings groups, who increasingly cover several types of floorcoverings products. However, going forward UK manufacturers should gain some competitive advantage from the increased cost of imported products, although that factor will increase the cost of any raw materials they import themselves.

Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research commented: “The contract floorcoverings market has changed significantly over the last decade. Following developments in the domestic sector, a wider range of flooring products are now included in specifications, demonstrated by a move away from carpet towards smooth flooring materials in recent years. One change has been the move to a more integrated use of different flooring materials within a single installation, possibly combining carpeting with a vinyl product, although the use of different types of vinyl has also increased, especially LVT.”

Going forward, the outlook for the overall floorcoverings market is generally optimistic, although forecasts have been lowered recently, mainly resulting from the uncertainty affecting the Brexit negotiations, and over the next five years, growth rates of 2-3% are forecast in the market. Positive factors impacting the market include opportunities for new build and RMI work in the health and education sectors.

The construction of HS2 should lead to greater demand for floorcoverings on concourses, restaurants and perhaps other establishments near the various stations. However, growth in the contract sector is expected to be adversely affected by the lack of growth in the overall construction sector in 2018 and slow growth in the following years, as a result of a decline in the private commercial construction sector.

The Contract Floorcoverings Market Report – UK 2018-2022 report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services with over 25 years’ experience within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Powered Access Equipment Hire Market - 5 Key Facts

  • The Powered Access Equipment Hire market is expected to grow by 6% between 2017 and 2020. 
  • The hire market is a particularly important part of the supply chain for MEWPs in the UK, representing around 80% of manufacturers’ sales.
  • Scissor lifts and boom lifts dominate hire fleets in 2016, accounting for a share of 47% and 29% respectively in terms of the volume of equipment hired.
  • Boom lifts account for nearly half (48%) the total value of the UK powered access hire market.
  • It is estimated that 70-75% of hire market revenue is accounted for by specialist companies.
These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's 'Powered Access Equipment Hire Market Report - UK 2017-2021 Analysis' available for purchase now. 

Friday, March 09, 2018

UK social housing market worth an estimated £11.4bn in 2017

Housing Associations account for around 60% of social housing stock in 2017-18 and also form the largest not-for-profit group in the UK, working closely with both private and public organisations. Around 76% of market stock owned or managed by housing associations is general needs housing, which is primarily social rental accommodation. In terms of value, the social housing construction market was estimated to be worth around £11.4bn in 2017, including both newbuild and RMI activity.

The social housing sector is diverse with over 1,700 registered providers in the UK. Most of these are small players, but the leading associations hold larger portfolios and much of the sector’s development capacity. A series of significant mergers have taken place over the past couple of years to achieve economies of scale and greater development influence. The top 30 housing association groups now account for around 59% of the social housing market, compared with 41% in 2015.
The sector is currently experiencing funding issues influenced by increased financial constraints on local authorities and social rent cuts of 1% a year from 2016-17, something which has led to reduced discretionary spending on maintenance and improvements. The Affordable Rent model has also had a considerable impact on income streams.
As a result of successive programmes which place an emphasis on affordable, rather than social rent, the number of new homes for social rent has continued to decline as housing associations build fewer homes and acquire fewer properties. Housing association starts in 2016-17 were down by around 6.3% on the previous year for the UK as a whole, while completions were also down by around 3%. The majority of social housing completions were for affordable rent, while the main area of decline was in social rent completions.
The Government’s primary focus for the housing sector at present is home ownership and getting people on the housing ladder, by subsidising first-time buyers with policies such as ‘right to buy’, ‘help to buy’ and ‘rent to own’. However, recent Government announcements in both England and Scotland have seen ambitious targets to tackle the housing deficit, including a recent announcement of a further £2bn for affordable housing in October 2017.
The Government is also making available £4.7bn of capital grant through the Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme (SOAHP), and in London, £3.15bn has been secured under the London Affordable Homes Programme 2016-2021 to start building at least 90,000 new affordable homes up to 2021, of which around 50% will be affordable. In addition, the Scottish Government plans to deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes by March 2021, 70% of which will be for social rent.
Despite these ambitious targets, there is still widespread doubt across the sector that these targets will be met, with a lack of suitable sites and continuing delays to the planning process also hampering delivery. There is now a much-reduced role for the social housing sector in newbuild housing. Funding for affordable housing has fallen in recent years and housing providers are now expected to build homes for sale and rent at full market prices, and using the profits to provide a smaller portfolio of social homes.
Expenditure on planned maintenance work in order to maintain homes in a good condition has remained static over the past few years. However, expenditure on major repairs has declined slightly in 2016/17, as the Decent Homes Programme moved into its final stages. Growth in expenditure on housing association RMI is expected to slow from 2017 onwards. Other issues influencing repair and maintenance include tower block safety and the Building Safety Programme.
“Prospects for the sector in the short-medium term remain challenging. The limited grant funding under the Affordable Housing Programme, driven by the emphasis on the Affordable Rent investment model, has prompted Social Housing providers to seek finance and support from alternative sources, with some forming partnerships with private sector providers” said Hayley Thornley, Research Manager at AMA Research. “Going forward, social housing completions are expected to remain relatively flat, rising by between 1-3% to 2021-22.”
The Social Housing Construction and Maintenance Market Report – UK 2018-2022 report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services with over 25 years’ experience within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

The UK pipes and fittings market has grown by 21% since 2012

The UK pipes and fittings market has achieved good levels of growth over the last five years, and although growth has slowed more recently, the market has achieved overall value growth of 21% since 2012. Key factors influencing market growth in recent years include increasing levels of demand from key end-use sectors, principally in new housebuilding and non-domestic construction, and rises in raw material prices such as copper and plastic over the last two years. The plumbing pipe systems sector accounts for over half of the pipes and fittings market, as defined by AMA Research, with the rainwater, soil and waste products sector accounting for the remainder.

Flexible plastic plumbing pipe systems are the dominant material used in hot and cold potable water installations, particularly for new build. Factors driving the growth of the plastic sector include technological developments, improved reliability, installation efficiency, the growth of underfloor heating and the price advantage over metal products. In addition, in the residential sector, the faster rate of growth of new build, compared with RMI, has boosted the market share of plastic, as plastic tends to dominate the new build sector.
Hayley Thornley, Research Manager at AMA Research, commented:
“In particular, plastic push-fit and press-fit fittings have experienced growth due to the considerable savings made on installation time. In addition, with increasing health and safety legislation, and the lack of ‘traditional’ skills of soldering and welding pipework, there has been a continuing shift in the market towards flame free jointing. Use of multi-layer barrier pipes, including a metal layer to protect against degradation, has also grown significantly in the water supply sector.”
Although the market for copper pipe has grown relatively more slowly in recent years, it is still used across the majority of heating installations, and copper pipe remains a popular choice among plumbers, particularly in exposed areas, where its ‘traditional’ aesthetic appeal remains strong, and copper shows signs of starting to stabilise its market share
PVC-U continues to dominate the above ground rainwater guttering, soil and waste pipework sector. There is continuing demand for seamless aluminium guttering and cast-iron effect PVC-U guttering, which provides the effect of cast iron.
The focus on reducing water consumption has increased in recent years and rainwater harvesting has become an important way of achieving this, especially in densely populated areas, such as London and the South East, where water shortages are more likely.
The outlook for the UK pipes and fittings market in 2018 is moderately positive, supported by continued growth in construction levels and RMI expenditure, though the rate of growth is likely to be slower than in the period 2012-2016. However, residential RMI – which the market is highly reliant on - is likely to experience low annual growth rates reflecting weaker consumer confidence, rising inflation, a reduction in the DIY skills base and fewer high value RMI projects such as bathrooms, kitchens and extensions. A flat house moving market is also having a negative impact on RMI activity at present.
The Pipes and Fittings Market Report – UK 2018-2022 report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services with over 25 years’ experience within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.