Thursday, August 31, 2017

Over 5% of UK homes now have a wetroom installation

The value of the wetroom market has increased by 10% between 2014-2016, according to a report by AMA Research. The sector offers significant growth potential within the UK bathroom market, with demand for wetrooms having increased significantly in recent years. Growth was particularly strong in 2015, with more modest rates in 2016/17 of around 3% per annum. Moderate growth is currently forecast to 2021, when the market is expected to have increased by 18% compared to the market size in 2017.
Demand for wetrooms has increased significantly in recent years as the showering area has become an essential part of bathroom design, with householders increasingly choosing to shower rather than bathe. Key market drivers in 2014/15 included increasing levels of new housebuilding, particularly the retirement/care sector, where wetrooms are more common. In 2016 and H1 2017, the wetroom market experienced modest growth, largely a result of the political and economic uncertainty in the UK at present.
The floor formers and level access trays sector dominates the wetroom market in terms of value, followed by waterproof tanking kits, glass wetroom panels and drainage products. While traditional shower trays and enclosures have lost some market share, the 25mm level access shower tray that can be set flush into the wetroom floor is in greater demand and often used as an alternative to the wetroom floor former. Glass frameless wetroom panels have also seen good growth, and can be used to ‘zone’ the wetroom, creating a wet and dry area.
Recent product developments include pre-moulded wetroom floor formers with a built-in gradient and membrane waterproof tanking systems, which are easier to install and provide greater installation accuracy, saving a significant amount of installation time. Developments in the drainage products sector include wall mounted and linear drains for a seamless finish and digital drainage pumps that operate wirelessly when the shower is turned on.
One of the key reasons that wetrooms have become more appealing is their versatility, which can be attributed to product innovations and improvements. It is now possible for wetrooms to be installed in any room of the house and on most types of floor. Prices have also fallen, making wetrooms a more affordable choice to the mainstream consumer.
Going forward, demand will also be supported by the emerging trend towards multi-generational households. These properties would need to be adapted inclusively to suit the needs of all family members living at home, and the accessibility of wetrooms compared to traditional bathrooms for elderly and disabled consumers represents a key driver of growth. Wetrooms is one of the most popular bathroom adaptations paid for by a Disabled Facility Grant (DFG), which is set to double over the next 2-3 years.
New housebuilding volumes are set to stabilise despite the uncertainty currently surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU and the 2017 General Election. Prospects remain positive in this sector and will support demand for wetroom products installed in new housing, including self-build housing. Wetrooms also represent a popular method of designing easy access and space efficient showering areas in commercial buildings including hotels, leisure facilities, specialised housing, care homes and hospitals, while the use of prefabricated wetroom PODs is also expected to increase.

The ‘Wetroom 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 within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Leading European electrical wholesale groups continue to increase market share

The overall electrical wholesalers market in leading EU countries was estimated at €34bn in 2016, having seen a moderate increase on 2015, with 2017 growth expected at around 2%. This is according to AMA Research’s definition, which includes 12 EU countries, and excludes the UK market. The European electrical wholesale market has been affected by the downturn in construction in many countries over the last decade but has begun to show signs of improvement in 2016 and early 2017.
Germany represents the largest market for electrical wholesalers by value, followed by France and Italy, both some way behind. It should be said that there can be substantial variations in estimates of market size and mix by country due to there being a variation in definitions of what constitutes an electrical wholesaler, with some organisations providing much wider range of products than others – in some cases non-electrical ranges - which account for a significant proportion of turnover.
Prospects in the medium term will continue to be variable as some countries continue to impose tough public spending cuts to reduce their budget deficits, while in other countries the economic situation has improved over the past 1-2 years. Broadly, forecasts over the next few years in the electrical wholesaling market indicate modest recovery, reflecting a combination of increases in new housebuilding levels and a steady recovery in consumer spending feeding through into rising demand for electrical products in the medium term.
New market opportunities are also emerging with the electrical sector adopting variable levels of involvement in renewable energy and home automation, while IT and communications also continue to attract significant investment. Conversely, external threats to the sector have grown with a switch to offsite manufacturing in some countries and a growing focus on modularity in areas such as wiring and circuit breakers.
“In all of the markets reviewed, the ‘national’ players dominate the electrical wholesale market by value in 2016 – typically with shares of over 65% for the top 2-3 players” said Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research. “It is becoming increasingly difficult for the smaller, independent companies to compete in the market for reasons including an inability to match depth and range of stock of the larger operations, the higher investment in IT and health & safety required, the burden of product regulations and other legislation, together with expectations to provide training and additional services”.
The continuing rationalisation has remained a key feature of this market, with further acquisitions consolidating the dominant positions of Rexel and Sonepar. Both organisations have continued to expand their operations in less mature markets in developing economies. Other groups with wholesaling operations beyond their national base are Solar and CEF, but neither group has the international scale of operations of the leading two suppliers. The trend towards further concentration of supply has also included buying groups, which are strong in the electrical wholesaler market. In addition, some vertical integration of the supply chain has taken place.
The outlook is for steady, if modest, growth to 2021, which will be underpinned by returning confidence in the European construction sector but characterised by severe price competition, particularly from imported products from the Far East.
The ‘Electrical Wholesalers Market Report - Europe 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 full report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724. In addition, also on offer are reviews of the 12 individual countries and a separate review of the UK electrical wholesale market is also available on our website.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Panel Builders Market Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis - 5 Key Facts

  • The UK panel builders market is expected to grow by around 10% by 2021.
  • General Industry remains the largest end use sector with 43% of the market, regaining share as output and construction in this area strengthened.
  • Panels for power distribution represented the largest product sector, accounting for some 48% of the market split by panel type.
  • Panel builders largely source from specialist manufacturers with 70% acting this way, this trend is increasing as panels become more complex or specialist.
  • Pure panel building companies comprise 41% of the panel building market.
These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Panel Builders Market Report - UK 2017-2021 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

‘Improve, don’t move’ trend boosts home extension applications

The number of planning applications decided and granted has increased during the last 2-3 years, following an ongoing period of decline in the years between 2010 and 2013. In 2015 and 2016, the total number of developments granted increased by 8% and 4% respectively. This growth was driven by the improving economic situation, which has boosted consumer confidence and the market for home improvements, and a requirement to increase living space within the home.
The overall home improvement market has grown in recent years. The trend towards ‘improve, don’t move’ has benefitted the home extensions market in particular, as extensions can provide additional living space or accommodate a growing family. This trend has also led to consumers spending more on upgrading their properties, particularly in terms of kitchen, bathrooms and glazing options, but also on flooring, underfloor heating and other elements.
Home extensions – single storey extensions in particular – represents one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of the home improvements market. Approximately 75,000 applications for single storey extensions were granted in 2016, a number which has risen over the last few years. Single storey extensions remain a popular form of home extension, partly because a large proportion no longer require planning permission under permitted development rights.
The number of double storey extensions has also grown, albeit at a slower rate than single storey extensions. In many major cities, especially London, loft and basement extensions are a growing feature of the market. Mainly owing to a lack of space, these extensions often represent a cost-effective method of adding living areas to properties without reducing outdoor space. Multi-level basement extensions have recently become popular, with London alone accounting for up to three-quarters of all basement applications. However, this has led to over-development concerns with some authorities imposing limits to the level of work which can be carried out.
Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research, commented: “Despite the threats facing the UK housing market, the home extensions sector is expected to experience reasonably good growth over the next few years with home improvements seen as a cost-effective way of achieving greater living capacity and longer-term capital growth. Other drivers include more relaxed rules with regards to permitted development rights. Affordability issues are likely to remain the main barrier to growth, with banks and building societies now requiring additional information relating to borrowers' finances before any lending decision is made, and wage inflation remaining low.”
Although the outlook for the UK economy remains uncertain owing to the recent election results and the EU withdrawal, modest growth is forecast in terms of construction and RMI activity. Activity in the residential RMI sector is expected to continue in the short to medium term, and is forecast to reach £30bn by 2021. The share of residential RMI output taken by building extensions, currently at around 25%, is forecast to continue growing.

The ‘Home Extensions Market Report - GB 2017-2021 Analysis’ 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.

Growth of 24% in the UK mechanical & electrical contracting sector since 2012

The UK market for mechanical and electrical (M&E) contracting has increased by almost 25% since 2012, following a period of sustained growth from 2013 onwards, driven by a buoyant new build market, with rising output in the office and infrastructure sectors in particular. This growth continued in 2016, when the market saw growth of 4%, despite continued constrained public sector capital spending. In 2017, growth is forecast to stagnate, as construction output becomes more subdued.
Many factors support a continuation of market growth, including the development of higher specification and more complex products, changes to legislation requiring the specification of higher value products, greater use of controls and energy efficient products, continued strength in data centre construction as well as greater levels of outsourcing of M&E services.
A key area of growth has been installations aimed at improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, driven by legislative requirements and building regulations.” said Fiona Watts, Editor at AMA Research. “There has been a rapid expansion in the range of LED lighting and increasingly sophisticated control systems for heating, lighting, and energy management, therefore this is a growth area that many contractors have been looking to exploit.
However, several factors are negatively impacting the market at present, such as public sector budget constraints, uncertainty over the impact of Brexit and greater use of off-site manufactured panels and modules.
The M&E market is fragmented, with the majority of market value accounted for by smaller operators with turnover of under £20 million, though consolidation activity amongst suppliers continues. There have been further strategic acquisitions in response to the growing focus on integrated services within the sector with contractors widening the range of services offered and examples of strategic joint ventures to secure work on very large-scale projects.
In terms of market prospects, the M&E sector is heavily dependent on the performance of the non-residential construction industry. Non-residential construction output is facing subdued growth into the medium term. Furthermore, new non-residential work remains highly susceptible to changes in levels of business confidence with the private commercial sector being particularly vulnerable to changes in speculative development programmes. 
The current uncertain economic climate and falling levels of business confidence relating to Brexit and other issues is likely to halt growth within the M&E contracting sector within the short term, although there are positive influences on market value that will underpin growth to some extent, including a relatively stable RMI sector and increasing prices of imported products. Output within the office and education sectors, which accounted for over 45% of the M&E market in 2016, is expected to decline until 2018. Overall, it is estimated that the market will remain flat through to 2018, then return to growth from 2019 onwards but at a modest rate of 1-2% per annum.

The ‘Mechanical and 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 or by calling 01242 235724.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Electrical Wholesale Market Report - UK 2017-2021 Analysis - 5 Key Facts

  • The electrical wholesale market is forecast to grow by 14% by 2021.
  • The national companies account for 74% of the market, down from 77% in 2014.
  • Lighting, and cable systems remain the largest product sectors within the electrical wholesale market, accounting for around 47% of market value.
  • Electrical Wholesalers are estimated to account for 33% of lighting market. This represents a reduction in share due to the growth of LED lighting, but is expected to regain share in future.
  • Electrical contractors remain the largest customer group, representing 76% of the market. 

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Electrical Wholesale Market Report - UK 2017-2021 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Shopfitting Market Report - UK 2017-2021 Analysis - 5 Key Facts

  • In 2017, the value of the UK shopfitting market is forecast to rise by 2% to reach around £2.65bn.
  • In the short to medium term, the UK market for shopfitting is forecast to increase by around 3-4% per year.
  • The UK Shopfitting market is complex and highly fragmented, with a large number of suppliers undertaking a wide range of activities.
  • In 2017, output in the entertainment sector is expected to rise by around 3%.
  • The market has been driven by leading retailers and supermarkets in particular investing in existing portfolios through fit-out and improvement works, rather than adding new space through new build development.

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Shopfitting Market Report - UK 2017-2021 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

General Industrial Products Distribution Market - UK 2017-2021 - 5 Key Facts

  • The key product sector for the general industrial product distributors is the health and safety product group with 10% share, illustrating the fragmentation of the industry.
  • The market growth is forecast to be relatively modest, showing an 8% gain through to the end of 2021.
  • The four leading distributors in this market account for 40-50% of the industry between them.
  • General industrial distributors play a significant role in the distribution of engineering & metal working products, accounting for just over 60% of the market.
  • The distribution of fluid and air control products within the industrial products distribution market is dominated by just 3 companies with around two thirds of the market.

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'General Industrial Products Distribution Market Report - UK 2017-2021 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724.

Tool Distribution Market - UK 2017-2021 - 5 Key Facts

  • Smart heating controls and linked devices account for 36% of the market. This has increased significantly in recent years.
  • The forecast growth of “the Internet of Things” –IoT- (‘smart’ household gadgets) is likely to result in increased connectivity within home networks.
  • The evolution of voice control devices is likely to drive more interest in home automation.
  • The market is highly fragmented with 10 suppliers accounting for around 50% of the market.
  • The tools market is relatively evenly split between power and hand tools, with power tools accounting for an estimated 50-55% share of the market and hand tools for around 45-50% share. 

These facts have been extracted from AMA Research's report 'Tool Distribution Market Report - UK 2017-2021 Analysis', available from or by calling 01242 235724.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

UK Tool Distribution market forecast to be worth £1.2bn in 2018

The overall UK tool distribution market increased in 2016 and is expected to reach a value of £1.2bn by 2018. Higher levels of construction, house building and RMI work - along with product innovation - supported value growth of up to 7% per year until 2014. The positive trends have continued throughout 2015 and the first half of 2016, with growth supported by a good economic performance and higher levels of construction leading to market growth of 3-4% per annum, in value terms.

Overall, the distribution of tools used in construction, RMI and gardening is highly complex and fragmented due to the number and ranges of products offered to a range of end-use sectors and contractors. Tool distribution comprises a mix of large national players competing with many regional and local companies, in both trade and consumer channels. Home improvement multiples are important players in the distribution market, as are the industrial product distributors.
Recently, however, buying behaviour has been influenced by digital technology and operating a transactional website has become increasingly important, with the internet emerging as a key channel in its own right. Home improvement multiples have responded to changing customer needs faster than some others, and are aiming for an omni-channel approach to selling including brick-and-mortar, mobile and internet, catalogues, click & collect etc.
Market performance is influenced by tool replacement cycles and activity levels in new build and RMI as well as a range of industry specific influences such as product development and legislation. Also assisting growth in recent years has been the trend away from do-it-yourself (DIY) to get-someone-in (GSI), as professional tradesmen tend to purchase higher value and quality tools, and also tend to replace tools more frequently.
Hand tools is a mature, steady sector with little significant step change in product development. In contrast, power tools have significantly benefited from new products and product innovations, such as cordless technology, lithium-ion batteries and brushless motors, all driving sales. Demand for power tools has meant that manufacturers have focused on producing a wider range of tools suitable for all budgets and capabilities. This wider choice of products has seen distributors’ stock levels increase in recent years.
Hayley Thornley, market research manager at AMA Research said: “Prospects for the overall market are generally positive, with moderate growth expected in the domestic sector and also across some non-domestic construction sectors. Steady demand in the garden tool sector is also expected to underpin the market. We estimate that the UK tool distribution market will continue to grow by around 3% per annum to 2021.”
While forecasts for the construction and RMI sectors to 2021 are for lower levels of activity, prospects for infrastructure, education, entertainment and housing are reasonably positive and should provide opportunities in both the professional and DIY tool sectors. Longer term growth potential in the timber frame housing market should benefit the cutting, woodworking and carpentry tool sectors. Product development is also expected to continue.
The ‘Tool 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 within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.