A pair of research reports, published within the last few months bring mixed news to the home improvement market generally, and to the market for conservatories in particular.
AMA Research’s survey – “Domestic Conservatory Market Report – UK 2012-2016” – makes interesting reading, reporting as it does not altogether positive statistics on the market, but managing to draw some optimistic conclusions from its findings. To summarise, conservatory sales in the UK have fallen year-on-year from 2008 onwards, reflecting the wider economic situation.
In contrast, HSBC’s recent Home Improvement Survey makes positive reading, with statistics indicating the financial benefits of adding a conservatory to your home.
As consumers have become affected by widespread economic worries, so their confidence has fallen. This drop in confidence has resulted in stagnation of the property market, leading to far fewer people moving home and far fewer people spending money on home improvements such as conservatories. Clearly this is not good news for the sector, and as things stand at the moment, market recovery does not seem likely in the short term.
But this is not the full story from AMA’s report, which also shows some positive indications with regard to the conservatory market. It is true that overall, sales of conservatories have fallen over the last few years, but alongside this we are seeing the emergence of ever more sophisticated and demanding customers seeking out suppliers and installers of specialist, quality products such as orangeries. In response, suppliers are also offering consumers a wider choice in styles and colours for products such as doors and windows, alongside conservatories and orangeries which are becoming increasingly design-led.
What this seems to indicate is that whilst the market for conservatories has slowed over the last few years with many potential customers reluctant to make an investment, consumers who are prepared to do so, are becoming increasingly discerning about how they spend their money and what they expect from their supplier.
In contrast to these findings, HSBC’s Home Improvement Survey suggests that consumers really should consider investing in a conservatory, particularly if they want to increase the value of their property, as it increases the relative return on investment by an average of £9,420. This is 14% up on 2011, and surprisingly, is the only major home improvement to show growth – and that includes new kitchens, bathrooms, loft conversions and room extensions.
The conclusion to draw from this is that, if you are considering moving home and are looking at carrying out some home improvement work to raise its value and boost its appeal, then adding a conservatory is probably the most economic choice.