Brexit affecting consumer spending on home improvements report shows

PR168 - Leads2trade team photoConsumer reluctance to invest in home improvements could be the result of the upcoming EU referendum and concerns of a potential Brexit according to Leads2trade.

A recent consumer survey conducted by the UK supplier of ‘double qualified’ leads and installer support has revealed that consumer spending in the home improvement market has dropped, but confidence in the economy and the industry has increased.

When asked to rate the likelihood of them spending more money on home improvements over the next two years, more than half of consumers polled (54%) said ‘unlikely’, compared to 46% who said ‘likely’.

This is a decrease of 14% on Leads2trade’s Q1 report – published in February – in which the majority of consumers (60%) answered ‘likely’.

However, 53% of consumers polled are confident that the UK economy will improve in the next five years, suggesting the spending dip is only temporary.

Consumer opinion of the home improvement industry is also improving. 45% of respondents had a positive view of the reputation of the home improvement industry. Another 46% had a neutral outlook and 9% rated it negatively.

This is an 8% increase on Q1, where just 37% responded positively and 57% remained neutral.

When asked what is the most important factor when buying from a tradesman, 44% said company reputation, 33% said customer references and 10% said membership of accreditation body.

Although word of mouth is a common way for installers to attract new business, the report reveals consumers will shop around for best prices and service.

100% of those polled said they prefer to get more than one quote and the majority of consumers are going online to cross-compare multiple companies before purchasing.

51% of respondents said a website is the marketing activity most likely to attract their attention. This was followed by local advertising (25%), email marketing (10%) and leaflet drops (7%).

For homeowners who are purchasing home improvement products, PVC-U was found to be the favourite – 84% said they prefer this material – but aluminium is slowly increasing, with a rise of 1% to 8% on Q1’s report.

Andy Royle, director at Leads2trade, commented: “Our comprehensive report gives the industry a good indicator of what consumers are thinking and highlights any barriers to growth.

“Despite concerns around the EU referendum that may be curtailing spending, it hasn’t affected consumer confidence and it is likely we will see spending rates return to previous levels, and even increase, once a decision has been made.

“It’s also positive to see that consumer opinion of the industry is increasing, an issue which we and our customers have worked tirelessly to improve over the years.”

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