Retail sector shows resilience

The latest data from Nationwide has revealed a 0.2% drop in house prices, month on month for July and a drop of 3.8% year on year.

Economists see this as the first sign of higher mortgage rates starting to impact on the housing market and are predicting a further decline in house prices over the coming months.

That suggests a weakening of consumer confidence going forward, despite separate data from the Bank of England that showed mortgage approvals at an eight month high in June, even with higher costs of borrowing.

So, are homeowners still prepared to invest in their properties or are they too nervous to splash the cash?

Well, the latest figures from the Business Pilot Barometer, which analyses data from the retail sector, indicates that despite a reduction in volume of leads (although leads are still up compared to 2022), lead conversion remains strong.

In fact it has increased every month, for Business Pilot users, since February 2022.

And when you adjust for a seasonal dip in order value, the value of jobs that installers are converting is also looking very promising. According to Business Pilot, these could very well start to improve as we head into Autumn and Winter.

We are most likely going to see a few more rate rises by the Bank of England before the end of the year, and that will no doubt be reflected in a reduction of work at the lower end of the retail market as budgets are squeezed.

But the data shows that more affluent homeowners still have money to spend and that they are typically prepared to invest in a more premium offer.

It also proves that installers should be refining their product offer to suit, and should also be looking to fine tune operations, with business management software and lead generation, (if they haven’t done so already) to really make the most of current market conditions.