Defying expectations

With January behind us and Spring just around the corner, let’s take a minute to assess the potential outlook for the window and door industry.

On the one hand, we are being told that the economic downturn may not be as bad as all that and that inflation may be nearing its peak.

On the other, in an effort to really get inflation under control, the Bank of England has now raised interest rates to 4%. And they will probably go up again at the end of March.

That has helped to knock the wind out of the sails of the construction sector, which has had its worst month since May 2020, thanks to higher mortgage rates impacting negatively on housebuilding.

Commercial construction activity has also declined for the first time in five months.

On the flip side, house prices seemed to have stabilised for the time being, with the latest figures from Halifax showing the average price of a home is now £281,684. That’s still about £5,000 higher than the average price of January 2022.

According to Knight Frank, the property consultancy, activity has been strong so far in 2023 and hints that there’s a chance the housing market will actually perform surprisingly well this year.

What does all this mean for the fenestration industry? Well, so far this year, it’s pretty much business as usual, at least according to the latest Business Pilot Barometer!

Window and door sales have recovered 67% since the seasonal pause for December and average leads have more than doubled.

In fact, there’s very little difference leads and sales from January 2023 than 12 months ago, which was before Russia invaded Ukraine and the energy price cap was raised.

It remains hard to make accurate long term predictions, but for now, the industry is still performing above expectations…