Home improvement boom sees construction SME sales up 35%
Last year turned out well for those working in the home improvement sector, such as kitchen worktop companies and tilers, but this year is even better.
Analysis of invoices from Powered Now, the field service management software for the trades, has revealed that the home improvement boom that started after the initial lockdown last year has seen sales for small companies and the self-employed in construction increase by a further 35% so far this year.
Figures from almost a quarter of a million invoices recorded by 915 trade SMEs who use the software has shown that, as well as more work, the average invoice value in 2021 is 6% higher than those recorded in 2020, with sales for the first eight months of 2021 amounting £111million, compared with £82million in the same period last year.
Originally attributed to the enforced home working during the Covid-19 pandemic, including the lockdown in the Winter of 2020-21, the explosion of home improvements has continued to grow in value throughout the summer months, which is usually a quieter period for the trades. It has even continued past 'Freedom Day' (19 July) when the lockdown ended, with the average value of an invoice amounting to £1,233, reaching total monthly sales of £15.1million in August, the second highest value month in 2021, second only to March. Of course, material price increases account for at least some of the increase in invoice value.
Ben Dyer, CEO of Powered Now, has commented on the analysis: "Since the re-opening of the construction sector after the very first lockdown in 2020, there has been an unprecedented boom period. Sales in 2020 surpassed those in 2019, which was totally unexpected, as we learnt how to deal with the pandemic.
"2021 by all accounts has taken us all by surprise even further. Starting the year with an equally restrictive lockdown didn't dent the appetite of the British public for home improvements, and even the very well documented shortages of labour and materials couldn't deter Brits from going on a renovation bonanza.
"The knock-on effect of this golden year for tradespeople has meant that the trade has become a hugely popular sector for job seekers, and we're seeing training courses becoming over-subscribed as education centres are inundated with new apprentices."