House sales boost in January

There’s encouraging news for the home improvement sector this week as the latest Zoopla house price index revealed that house sales were 13% up year on year in the first three weeks of January.

The upturn has been attributed to falling mortgage costs, which is helping buyers back onto the market but also encouraging sellers to list their properties. The supply of homes is reported to be 22% higher this year compared to the same period in 2023.

Some mortgages lenders are now said to be cutting rates to below 4%, which combined with falling inflation rates, will help to boost consumer confidence and increase optimism with prospective buyers and sellers alike.

Industry forecasts may still be highlighting relatively challenging conditions for fabricators and installers in 2024, but a buoyant housing market is always a good sign for those operating in the retail sector.

And with the price of wholesale gas going up, contributing to a 5% increase in the Ofgem energy cap and higher energy bills, those that are doing so could certainly capitalise on demand for products that deliver better energy efficiency.

In this week’s newsletter, Deceuninck’s MD, Rob McGlennon, is keen to stress the advantages of promoting the company’s online energy calculator, which can demonstrate to homeowners just how much money that can save with new and improved windows and doors.

In other news, a survey commissioned by Keylite, has revealed that 77% of UK housebuilders have found the recent uplift in energy efficient requirements ‘challenging’.

The survey quizzed housebuilders on the changes to Part L that were introduced in 2022, to improve energy efficiency standards ahead of the 2025 Future Homes Standard.

As well as admitting that they struggled with the latest Part L specification, 30% of respondents said they had found a cost increase of £1,000 to £1,500 per unit, due to the updates.

You can find a link to the whitepaper research here.