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Prolonging the agony

02 Nov 2010

The new government's economic policies look likely to prolong the agony for the fenestration industry

The new government's economic policies look likely to prolong the agony for the fenestration industry, warns the leading market analyst, Robert Palmer, in his latest study.

The market for windows, doors and conservatories fell by 11% in 2009 to £3.85billion, according to Palmer Market Research's 2010 report - Window, Door and Conservatory Markets in Housing in Great Britain.

"This is actually better than we were anticipating last year," explained Robert Palmer. "However, this will be little solace to the industry which we forecast will continue to see decline until 2013 as the new government's economic policies kick in."

This will be the third year in which the market has decreased, following record highs in the mid 2000s, where the annual value of the market vacillated around £5.2billion, peaking at £5.4billion in 2006. 

Patio doors showed the biggest decline, with their installed value reducing dramatically by 21%.  

Entrance doors dropped by 13%, secondary glazing by 11%, conservatories by 10% and windows by 9%. The window market in the home improvement sector, actually shrunk to its lowest level since 1986, while in new build housing, it declined by 18% to a post war record low.

Palmer forecasts that windows and entrance doors will continue to decline through 2012.

Some good performances are noted - installations of bi-fold doors increased by 33%, albeit from a very low base and composite doors (defined in this report as being those made from an internal framework and cellular foam core with GRP, PVC or ABS facings) grew by 8%.

Overall though, Palmer paints a pessimistic picture of the home improvement market which will continue to be hit by low consumer confidence, and social housing, likely to suffer heavily under the new government's proposed cutbacks.

Two bright spots are that new build is likely to start seeing recovery immediately, boosted by the various shared equity schemes on offer and the trend appears to be back towards larger family houses and away from flats; a fact that prompts Palmer to predict the new housing window market to grow by 15% in 2010, and 13% in 2011.

News source: Courtesy of Glass & Glazing Magazine