Despite some extremely challenging circumstances, such as excessive price increases, home improvement is still on an upward trajectory, expecting to continue to grow considerably over the next five years.
In fact, one report states that globally the industry is expected to be worth more than £1 trillion in five years’ time. So despite the cost of living crisis – or maybe even because of it – there is still a significant appetite for homeowners to invest in the maintenance of their properties.
The time of covid – turning a potential bust into a boom
When the call came to shut down businesses in March 2020, many manufacturers of home improvement products were left floundering. Many have been so busy recently that they had implemented 24-hour shift patterns to cope with the unending demand.
Like every industry, the initial shutdown left them floundering. However, it was soon clear that not only would the pandemic not affect the health of the industry as a whole – it was going to drive sales through the roof.
With nothing else to spend their money on and an increasing amount of time spent in their homes, homeowners were happy to invest in improving their environment. In fact, between March 9th and 15th 2020, online sales of home improvements and gardening retail products grew by almost 50 percent more than the previous year.
Across the UK, whether you were building a conservatory in Cardiff, or carrying out guttering repairs in Leeds, houses had never had so much attention and TLC!
An increasingly restrictive property market
For many homeowners, particularly those living in cities with limited space, the desire to move to a bigger property with more outside space was quashed by the lack of available properties for sale. Covid witnessed a growing surge of families wanting to escape to the country, selling restrictive city homes and finding something bigger and cheaper.
However, the increased demand sent property prices temporarily spiraling. As a result, decisions were made to optimize the space available in their existing homes.
For many, the improvements in the availability and quality of home improvement products made them realize that they could actually significantly improve their existing home for a fraction of the cost of moving, and add value as well. In fact, sales of garden rooms (‘suffices) saw sales increase by 500 percent year on year during the first few months of 2021.
Growth shows no sign of abating
Now that the pandemic is firmly behind us, this has not dented our appetite for home improvements. The larger retailers are predicting steady growth over the next five years, fuelled by a number of factors:
- The pressure to commit to net zero is having a massive impact on the property renovation industry, with portfolio landlords obligated to improve the energy efficiency ratings of their rental properties.
- Equally, homeowners are feeling the chill in terms of footing ever larger energy bills, and finding ways to improve the energy efficiencies of their own homes. Laying down insulation, replacing old and draughty windows and doors, and replacing old, inefficient boilers – these are all ways in which the home improvement market will continue to see consistent growth in the coming decade.
- Rising rates of inflation and interest are slowing down the housing market, while many sit out of the cost of living crisis and wait to feel more financially secure before deciding to move again. While waiting, they are improving the spaces that they have – after all, a more energy-efficient house will, ultimately, get them a better price when they do decide it is finally time to sell.