John Duffin, Managing Director Keylite Roof Windows is BMBI’s Expert for Roof Windows.
Roof window sales for the second quarter have shown double digit year-on-year growth. This largely makes up for a disappointing first quarter due to poor weather.
The ONS reports just 0.8% year-on-year growth for Q2 construction output. But in our sector we continue to see good growth in the supply of roof windows to new build, and in roof windows for repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) which is more than 80% of the market.
RMI is driving significant demand for two specific product areas. Flat roof windows demand – products providing daylight to living spaces in flat roof extensions – is strong and we also see a surge in sales of low-maintenance PVC roof windows. This reflects growth in products which give users an easier life, and consumers falling out of love with DIY – particularly on maintenance.
We expect the roof window market to continue to provide good growth potential for merchants and their customers with cost-effective solutions for brighter, healthier homes and work spaces. Merchants, however, should be aware of the growing competition from online roof window sales, which risks becoming a threat to merchants with some manufacturers bypassing them online.
We expect Q2’s growth trend to carry through to the third quarter, as dry weather boosts output on sites. However, consumer confidence and bank lending, rather than the weather, are key to longer term trends in the housing market. Sliding consumer confidence has already been blamed for soft UK house prices in Q2: one lender posted the largest fall in average prices since 2010.
Concerns come from reports that lenders faced with Brexit uncertainty are starting to lower valuations below the sales price. In addition, sterling’s weakness continues to effect prices. As speculation around a ‘no-deal Brexit’ strengthens, merchants are beginning to consider possible impacts. Keylite is confident that our in-depth UK stocking policy will provide a seamless supply chain for merchants regardless of any ‘deal’.