The plumbing contractors market was estimated to be valued at around £14.7bn in 2014, having seen good levels of growth over the last two years.
The plumbing contracting sector weathered the economic
downturn fairly well compared with other construction sectors, due to the fact
that a large share of work is made up of repair and maintenance, which is
generally more resilient than work within the newbuild sector. In addition,
plumbing installations cover a number of non-domestic sectors, in addition to
housing, and some of these, in particular the public sectors, continued to
perform relatively well into the recession due to continued government
investment to support the construction industry.
The market experienced a slight improvement in 2010 and
again in 2011, however, value was inflated by widespread material cost
increases within some plumbing product sectors, particularly those related to
copper. In addition, spending cuts within the public sector had started to come
into effect and the value growth could not be sustained, leading to a decline
in the plumbing contracting market during 2012. The situation was more positive
in 2013 and while the economic situation remained relatively fragile, there
were positive signs during 2014 - business confidence improved and construction
activity increased sharply, particularly in the housing sector.
The key occupational
roles across the plumbing contracting sector include general plumbing and
bathroom installations (mostly domestic), gas installation and maintenance,
refrigeration and air conditioning, and heating and
ventilation. Employment in the plumbing and heating sector is expected to
increase across England, Scotland and Wales. There are currently skills
shortages for fully qualified plumbers, which should increase labour costs and
support value growth across the contracting sector in the short to medium term.
Future prospects for the plumbing contracting market are
relatively bright, providing the construction market in general continues to
improve. Indications for 2015 are positive and it is hoped the market will
achieve value growth of around 6% during the year. While the pace of growth is
likely to have slowed by 2016/2017, it is expected that the plumbing
contracting market will be worth £17.1bn by the end of the forecast period.
growth are likely to be found in the new housing sector, which is currently being
driven by rising prices, increased mortgage lending, as well as a growing
uptake of the government’s ‘Help to Buy’ programme” said Keith Taylor,
Director of AMA Research. “In the
existing housing sector, the changes to the stamp duty levels along with
growing consumer confidence and spending, should support increased RMI
It is likely that as the economy improves and consumer
confidence grows, an increasing number of consumers will begin to focus on
higher value, big ticket projects such as kitchens and bathrooms. This is
perhaps already the case in London and the south east and other areas which
have experienced high property value growth. Other potential areas of growth
include the installation of additional bathrooms, e.g. en-suite and cloakrooms
into properties, along with kitchen extensions and utility rooms.
Contractors Market Report – UK 2015-2019 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 www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242