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UK construction materials sales slump nearly 10% as housing slows

7/05/2024, 06:36
UK construction materials sales slump nearly 10% as housing slows
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Dan Görgü Dan Görgü
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The Index, based on actual point-of-sale data, showed like-for-like sales values down 4.7% compared to February 2023. However, this masked a steeper volume decline as prices had risen along with an extra trading day due to the leap year.

Sales of timber and joinery products fell 6.4%, while heavy building materials dipped 7.9%. Renewables and water-saving product sales plunged over 20% year-on-year.

There were some bright spots month-on-month, with overall transaction volumes up 9.7% from January 2024. Landscaping items led the monthly gains at 17% higher as demand picked up ahead of spring.

MRA Research’s Mike Rigby attributed the sales slump to the ongoing housing market downturn but noted repair and maintenance activity is providing a buffer for the construction sector.

While consumer sentiment remained stable in early 2024 according to GfK’s confidence index, Rigby said potential interest rate cuts, rising house prices and an upcoming general election provided reasons for optimism later in the year.

The sluggish start underscores the building materials industry’s exposure to weakness in the UK’s new housing construction market amid higher borrowing costs and economic headwinds.

Source: ConstructionNews

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