Tuesday, February 28, 2017

5% growth in the UK residential kitchen furniture market in 2016

The UK domestic kitchen furniture market has grown steadily in recent years and particularly in 2015/2016 with value growth in the past two years reaching 5% per annum. There is also evidence of volume growth during this period. The kitchen furniture market is at the mature stage of its product lifecycle, with replacement sales accounting for almost 80% of sales, a share which had increased steadily in the past, but has remained stable in recent years.
The kitchen furniture market comprises furniture, worktops and sinks, and it is estimated that furniture accounts for almost 80% of the market in value terms. The shares have been static in recent years, although worktops had gained market share before the recession affected the market, driven by the trend towards higher value products in this sector. Rigid kitchens are now the norm, and are increasing their share of the market.
The blurring of the distinction between the kitchen and dining room is a major factor affecting this market, with less formality in the home and a move towards open plan living, facilitating socialising, entertaining and relaxing, as well as the normal cooking and washing up activities. This move away from a functional form has meant that accessory suppliers have had to develop added value, innovative storage solutions.
In terms of trends, curved cabinetry, soft-closing drawers, handle-less doors, open display shelving, sophisticated lighting and additional electrical appliances are increasing in popularity. High gloss finishes, stainless steel, frosted glass, wood and metallic finishes are all still popular, with combinations of materials frequently used to add interest, however, there are signs that softer finishes are growing in popularity.
An increasing number of manufacturers are offering units to suit the needs of elderly or infirm customers and this trend is likely to continue as the proportion of the UK population in older age groups increases. Multi-functional sinks are widely available, with a range of different features, such as strainer and draining bowls in varying depths, a variety of chopping boards and larger sinks, helping to underpin the value of the sinks market. In addition, technological developments in the tap sector, such as pull-out spray taps and water filtration systems, have also added value to the market, along with the growth in popularity of waste disposal units.
Forecasts for the next 2-3 years have been downgraded as a result of the ‘Brexit’ vote, which is likely to lead to slower growth in the UK economy, price increases for imported raw materials and less confidence amongst consumers.
“The domestic kitchen furniture market is forecast to show more moderate annual growth in the next few years of around 3%, before returning to stronger growth in 2020 and 2021” said Fiona Watts of AMA Research. “In the short-term margins are likely to be squeezed further, particularly by the increasing cost of imported raw materials, such as chipboard, as well as metal components, such as aluminium and steel, while energy costs have also started to rise again, although they have been subject to some volatility in recent years.”
Higher levels of new build in both the private and public housing sectors are expected to support growth in the kitchen market, however, the high proportion of flats and smaller houses may impact on the average value of kitchen furniture installed in this sector. Whilst the use of kitchen pods in the domestic environment remains low at present, particularly in comparison to bathroom pods, off-site manufacturing of key construction components is increasing and this may support the wider use of kitchen pods in the social housing sector in the longer term and possibly in the flats and apartments sector. The sale of kitchens with installation included is also likely to continue to increase, since IKEA, B & Q, Wickes and Homebase are among the companies now promoting this service strongly.

The ‘Domestic Kitchen Furniture Market Report – UK 2017-2021 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 235724.

Friday, February 24, 2017

UK Electrical Contracting market worth over £20bn in 2016

The electrical contractors market was worth just over £20bn in 2016, according to estimates by market research firm AMA Research. The value of the market grew strongly from 2014 to 2015 in line with the general resurgence in overall construction output, in particular the infrastructure and offices sectors, and to a lesser extent in new build housing. The estimates for 2016 are more moderate, with growth of around 1%.
Electrical contracting was less affected than some other areas within construction during the short-term dip in the construction market in 2012. This was partly due to the fact that the market covers a wide range of end use sectors and has a high proportion of work in RMI, insulating it somewhat from the effects of downturns in new building activity.
A key area of growth in recent years has been installations aimed at improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, driven by legislative requirements and building regulations. There has been a rapid expansion in the range of LED lighting products on the market, and with increasingly sophisticated control systems for both heating and lighting, this has been the major growth area in demand for electrical products.
“Profit margins, which had been significantly squeezed, have shown some signs of recovery from 2014 onwards, suggesting that the practice of submitting tenders at, or below, cost price in order to secure work may be dropping off” said Fiona Watts of AMA Research. “However, some firms continue to make losses while loss making contracts are completed.”
Competition remains fierce among contractors, with some larger players continuing to seek growth, gain access to new markets and expand the range of services they offer, through acquisitions. There has been an increase in the entry of small businesses into the market, which, in light of falling levels of employment overall, may indicate that some workers in the sector who were previously employees have opted to become self-employed.
Future prospects for the sector are moderately positive, with the electrical contracting market expected to show growth of around 2-3% per annum over the next few years. This depends largely on the performance of the non-domestic and domestic construction sectors, but business confidence remains good among electrical contractors, despite the uncertainty around a likely Brexit within the next 2-4 years.
Growth in the future is also likely to be motivated by legislation around carbon reduction, and renewable energy in particular, with a shift to LED lighting, increased modular product usage and greater use of controls which will have a positive impact on the market.
The ‘Electrical Contractors Market Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services with over 25 years’ experience in 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 235724.

Modest growth for highly competitive UK replacement windows and doors market

In 2016 the market for domestic replacement windows and doors was estimated to have grown by 3% in value terms. Following good growth in 2014, the market has reverted to lower growth rates in 2015-16, reflecting the mature state of the market and the high rates of household penetration of double glazing. Future growth in this market remains dependent on a positive housing market, but our forecasts for 2017 and beyond remain muted, with the uncertain economic situation a central factor.
In material terms, PVCu is dominant in the replacement windows market, with the direct sell route particularly strong. However, PVCu continues to face challenges in the entrance doors and patio doors sectors where composites and aluminium, particularly for bi-fold doors, continue to take share.
Volume sales of replacement windows have been in steady underlying decline for a number of years with key drivers now focussed on “re-replacements”. In terms of market trends, security, acoustic and thermal insulation properties as well as sustainability remain core themes in this market. In addition, in recent years companies have increasingly offered quality products with a wider choice of options – for example there is now a very wide range of frame colours available right across the market, something that was rare even a decade ago.
In the entrance door sector, the share of composites has grown and in 2016 is estimated to account for nearly one third of the market. This has been mainly at the expense of PVCu with timber still retaining largest share in terms of materials mix. Growth for replacement entrance doors has been higher than for replacement windows with key drivers including security issues, wear & tear from climate/regular use as well as the fact that replacing the front or back door represents a significantly smaller investment than would be needed for replacement windows.
The patio doors sector has been boosted by the recent trend for bi-folds as replacements for existing patio doors.  In addition, patio doors (including bi-folds) have also benefitted from the home extension sector and the trend for increased daylighting.
Due to its maturity, the domestic replacement doors and windows market is characterised by a highly fragmented supply structure and fierce competition. This is particularly true of the PVCu fabricator/installer sector where margins are low. In broad terms, aluminium fabrication/installation companies appear to be doing well, though this is only in part due to the replacement market, as aluminium is used to a significant extent in commercial and new build flats, for example. However, aluminium fabrication/installation business offer higher margins than PVCu. Major restructuring has been seen in the replacement window and door sector in the last few years, with further rationalisation anticipated at all levels of the supply chain.
“The likely direction of future development of the UK domestic replacement doors and windows market remains unclear in the short-medium term, largely influenced by the uncertainty surrounding the UK economy, the housing market and the potential effects of Brexit” said Jane Tarver of AMA Research. “However, our forecasts anticipate modest growth of around 2% per annum, which is likely to be driven by a basic underlying demand for second and third time replacements.”
A return to the volumes seen in the 1990s remains unlikely due to the high penetration level of double glazing and improved replacement products with longer life cycles. However, new legislation may encourage replacement of windows and doors to some extent, as increasingly stringent regulations for thermal efficiency and security continue to be introduced. Another key driver for 2nd and 3rd time replacement is likely to be aesthetics as householders opt for different colour and glazing options for windows and entrance doors in order to maintain an up to date look. In addition, emerging niche sectors are also likely to continue to offer opportunities – bi-fold doors have been a recent example as homeowners look to open-up access to their garden areas with large, flexible glazed areas.

The ‘Domestic Replacement Door and Window 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 www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Mixed performance in the UK building and home improvement product distribution market

The UK building and home improvement products distribution market is a large, mature market and as such tends to experience modest year on year change. In both 2015 and 2016, the market has performed well displaying growth rates of 4% per annum. This was driven by value increases and a modest improvement in confidence, though while house building showed modest improvement, public sector funding cuts continued to impact large scale construction projects and the Brexit vote undermined any significant new investment in construction programmes.
In general, market growth has been healthy since 2014, when the market value increased by 7%. This was due to a strong housing market with new housebuilding up 31% in terms of completions and some product sectors showing high levels of growth, such as solar energy technology which was boosted by an announcement that Feed In Tariffs were declining significantly, prompting sales/commitments before this occurred.
The market is relatively evenly split between heavyside and lightside products. Leading product sectors include timber & glazing, bricks, blocks, building envelope & concrete (BBBEC) and heating & plumbing.
The distribution market is complex, with a small number of large organisations competing with many regional and local organisations. The leading group of players now consists of 4 builders and plumbers merchants and 3 home improvement multiples.
Other suppliers who have become important within the market include Screwfix and Toolstation. Internet distribution has grown in recent years, especially in those channels where the products are more disposed to consumer preference and choice, are more physically compact and can more easily be delivered, such as plumbing and certain garden products. Nevertheless pure Internet distributors retain a relatively modest share in most sectors.
The changing socio-demographic structures are stimulating a shift away from DIY, with the younger generation unable to leave home or renting until they are in their thirties, resulting in less motivation to undertake DIY, and at the other end of the scale, the older generation use tradesmen to do their DIY. In addition, the growth of flats and apartments as well as smaller houses, will stimulate a shift away from DIY as there is simply less room to make improvements and changes.
The future prospects of the building and home improvement products distribution market are extremely difficult to forecast as the future development of the market is highly dependent on the levels of business investment and confidence in the wake of the EU referendum vote and the nature of negotiations with the EU over the next two years.
Over the next two years the construction industry is expected to show very modest growth of 1-2% overall reflecting a mix of performances across the sectors, with the infrastructure sector and the health sector expected to perform reasonably well, while offices and retail perform less well. AMA Research forecasts value growth of 2-3% per annum for the building and home improvement products distribution market, reflecting expected price increases in a number of product sectors and improving confidence in the medium term.
Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research, said: “While housebuilding levels have improved, it seems likely that this growth will not continue over the next two to three years as the market adjusts to the EU vote and exit process, and is therefore likely to remain more stable. Market growth will be impacted by the weakening of the pound following the EU referendum, making imports more expensive, a particular issue in areas such as electrical accessories and baths and sanitaryware, where imports take a significant share of the market.”

The ‘Building and Home Improvement Products Distribution Market Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services with over 25 years’ experience in 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 235724.

Buoyant private housing sector drives growth in High-Rise Buildings

Driven by a growing population and intensifying urbanisation, the construction of high-rise buildings has increased considerably in recent years – more high-rise buildings are now being constructed than at any other time. Across the UK as a whole, there are currently over 270 existing high-rise buildings and structures, of which around 70% are in London. The UK has just 17 high-rise buildings over 150m (492ft.) in height and just one building – The Shard in London - over 300m.
Definitions of high-rise buildings vary, but in this report AMA Research looks at UK regional and London developments of 15-20 storeys and above. Unlike other international cities, London is considered ‘low-rise’ for a global city and financial capital of the world; with the pace of high-rise development way behind other global cities. However, in recent years, there has been an increase in the number of high-rise buildings proposed and approved for construction in the UK. The UK development pipeline currently stands at around 500 buildings, of which over 85% are planned in London, while the rest are clustered in key cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Salford. 
In terms of end-use sector, around 70% of high-rise buildings currently under construction or under consideration across the UK are primarily residential, but with an element of mixed-use, e.g. retail, community or leisure.
In London, the high-rise market is being driven by the buoyant private housing sector, especially at the top-end of the market, and resurgence in demand for commercial property. The concept of high-rise living has changed and the majority of high-rise residential tower blocks in UK cities are now being developed as luxury accommodation, targeting a very different demographic and being developed with a mixed-use element incorporating leisure facilities, concierge services, restaurants and retail.
Key factors affecting the development of high-rise buildings include cost, space efficiency, wind & seismic considerations, structural safety, risk challenges both on site and in completed buildings, speed of elevators, new building materials to potentially replace steel and concrete and damping systems. In addition, significant technical and logistical factors include pumping and placing concrete at extreme heights, and craning and lifting items to extreme heights.
“Going forward, the high-rise construction market is set to continue to grow, with the ever-increasing demand for housing” said Hayley Thornley, Research Manager at AMA Research. “However, there are concerns about too many projects aimed at the luxury end of the market, which is not matched with housing demand. In addition, the uncertainties surrounding the EU referendum may influence some high-rise schemes, with many projects in the pipeline forecast to exceed stated completion dates.
The proportion of mixed-use schemes in the high-rise buildings pipeline is set to grow, with around 18% of developments either under construction or proposed with a mixed-use function. In the office market, rising take-up, low availability of grade-A space and increasing rents in cities such as Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds and Edinburgh, is helping to boost output in the commercial office sector and has led to more speculative building.
Sustained growth in the private rented sector (PRS) is also driving the development of high-rise housing, with increasing financial backing from both domestic and foreign institutional investors. Student accommodation also forms a small, but significant proportion of high-rise building development with a number of schemes currently in planning.

The ‘Construction in the High-Rise Buildings 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 www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Passive Fire Protection - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • The market for passive fire protection products is expected to see value growth of 8% by 2020.
  • New build growth in the offices and industrial sectors has supported demand across a number of product areas including structural fire resistance, glass, partitions, doors etc.
  • Fire resistant doors, fitting and seals are the largest sector of the market, accounting for around 60% of total market value.
  • Trade sources suggest that intumescent coatings are used in up to 70% of new steel construction.
  • New construction activity remains a key driver for passive fire protection products, and forecasts for 2015 indicate that non-domestic new work will increase by 4%.

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Passive Fire Protection Market Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis', available from www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Residential Doors - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • The UK residential door market is worth around £750 million.
  • Internal doors are the largest sector, but external entrance doors account for around 30% of the market. 
  • Private sector new build accounts for around 25% of the market, but home improvement applications are the largest share.
  • Composites are taking share in the entrance door market and now account for over 30% of sales.
  • Aluminium retains a good share of the sliding/bifold door market.
These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Residential Doors Market Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis', available from www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724

Monday, February 13, 2017

Underfloor Heating Market - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • Product development and uptake of intelligent technology in the UFH sector has increased, maximising the individual control of systems and improving efficiency.
  • The domestic sector is currently a key driver of market growth and accounts for around 60% of the market.
  • There has been an increase in the number of value or budget packs available - both for electric and water UFH.
  • Distribution continues to be dominated by direct supply, with some manufacturers and other specialists offering a 'supply and fit' service.
  • The top 5 suppliers have a combined share of around 60% of the market.

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Underfloor Heating Market Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis', available from www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724

LED Lighting Market - UK 2016-2020 - Key Facts

  • The 5 main suppliers: Philips, Zumtobel, Osram, GE / Current and Feilo Sylvania, are estimated to account for around 75% of the market.
  • Direct sales have a leading role in LED lighting distribution led by large scale, private and public sector projects, accounting for over a third of the market.
  • Industrial lighting is dominated by high intensity discharge (HID) lighting with LED accounting for only 5% of this sector currently.
  • Non-domestic end users dominate the LED market in 2015, accounting for 92% of market value.
  • Infrastructure is a significant sector with many LED street and road light investment schemes underway and is estimated to account for 22% of the market.

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'LED Lighting Market Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis', available from www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

New website coming very soon

We are very pleased to announce that we are about to launch a brand new website in the next few days!
The new site has full e-commerce functionality and will hopefully make it a lot easier for our customers to search and browse reports, as well as order online. 
New features include report search,  the ability to view and purchase subscription bundles, and a ‘Download PDF’ function which will enable you to download a PDF copy of the page at the click of a button, something which may be useful in decision making or when sharing the information with colleagues. We have also included an FAQ section, where you can find answers to the most commonly asked questions, which range from ordering and delivery to content and methodology for our reports.
We hope you will find the new online ordering system useful. It uses a shopping basket functionality so you will be able to add multiple reports to the basket to take to the checkout, rather than having to complete the same order form multiple times. You will still be given a choice of whether to pay against an invoice or by credit card. Invoices will be issued by the system, and equally, when paying by card, the invoice and receipt will be issued automatically within minutes of the order.
The pricing should also be clearer, as you will be able to view and approve the final amount (including/excluding VAT and any discount) prior to completing the checkout process.
If you are an existing customer, you will also be able to continue to use the site to reach the login page for AMA Research Interactive - just use the red button at the top right of the page that reads 'login to customer portal'.
As this is much more than just a ‘look and feel’ update, there may be teething problems in the first few weeks, though we are not expecting any downtime at this stage. In the meantime, if you do experience any problems or have any questions, please get in touch by email on sales@amaresearch.co.uk or phone on 01242 235724.