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Estimated 20% decline in roofing market value in 2020 according to report

by Jennie Ward

AMA Research’s Roofing Market Report – UK 2020-2024 points to difficult period and challenges around skills and recruitment for the sector, but also “improvement in confidence and the economy” going forward…

A new report has stated that the effect of COVID-19 on the roofing market has been “significant”, with an “estimated 20% decline in market value in 2020.”

The Roofing Market Report – UK 2020-2024, from AMA Research, states that since 2015, demand for roof coverings has been supported by strong growth in housebuilding and domestic RMI, along with increased output in a number of commercial and industrial new build & refurbishment markets.

The report also says growth in the overall market for roof covering reached c. £1.1bn in 2019, and key areas for this growth came from housing, office, schools and leisure, but more recently, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic “has taken its toll on the industry”.

The report points out that in the public sector, capital budgets remain tight, but spending on construction in sectors such as health and education had been increasing before the pandemic, with these forecast to pick up again post-COVID, “thus offering opportunities to suppliers and contractors, particularly in the flat roofing sector”.

The report also focuses on “the chronic undersupply of new homes that we have seen in recent years”, which it says “will ensure that the demand for new housing will continue to be high”. This, the report believes, will inevitably drive up demand for both tiles and flat roof membranes – but it points to “the chronic shortage of roofers, and other ‘wet’ trades”, which the report says could get worse following the UK’s exit from the EU.

Looking directly at products and materials alongside skills in the sector, the report states that “the ongoing shortage of skilled roofers in the industry has resulted in product developments that enable easier installation while requiring less skilled labour”, and says “the extent of the roofing skills shortage suggests that easier to install products, such as interlocking concrete roof tiles, will continue to grow in popularity.”

The report also touches on the changing purchasing habits of the public, and says the “accelerating growth in online shopping continues to drive up demand for online distribution centres”. It continues saying: “These are typically very large structures with expansive roof areas, typically finished with single ply membranes or profiled metal sheets.”

It also points to other “growth applications” including waste treatment & recycling and energy recovery facilities, saying “there are a large number of these in the 2021 development pipeline.”

The report does point to “improvement in confidence and the economy going forward”, stating: “The start of 2021 still sees the UK in the holds of the Covid-19 pandemic with Lockdown 3 currently upon us. With the construction sector as a whole remaining open and many of the previous implementations still in place means that many distributors and retailers are still open, we are forecasting a slight recovery in demand for roofing products, with moderate annual increases of 4-6% thereafter. Reflecting some improvement in confidence and the economy, with market value forecast to be return to c.£1bn by 2024.”


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