Don’t move, improve. That was the saying coigned during the last recession which began in 2008. As the financial crisis brought the world economy to a halt, it also brought the UK housing market to a standstill. Homes weren’t being put up for sale. Homes weren;t being bought either.

So people were staying put. But business still needed to continue. So the whole of the home improvement market, not just fenestration, began to encourage the “don’t move, improve” movement. The push for home owners to spend the money they were sitting on, rather than risk moving house or doing nothing at all.

I believe that there could be another phase of this on the way, and this time, it could really benefit us.

Not the same crisis

Post Brexit-vote Britain is a very different place to what it was 8 years ago. In general terms the economy is in a much better state. The financial system is not in complete meltdown. And despite the vote to leave the EU, and although the Bank of England has downgraded it’s growth forecasts, the UK looks like it will avoid a recession. So, relatively speaking, nowhere near a disaster.

However, it does look the housing market is set for a bit of a slowdown. The plus side is that a recent report shows that households have more disposable income than for a very long time. People are sitting on their cash, not really spending it.

Sounds like it’s high time for don’t move, improve part two!

Perfect timing

There is a real opportunity for the window and door industry to market themselves as the perfect industry to go to for people thinking of staying put and not moving.

We’re not far off Autumn now, which means people will start to look at their homes again and see what jobs need doing before the worst of the weather comes. Windows and doors will be on that list.

The busier installers will be able to use their full fitting schedules as leverage with home owners who may be thinking about getting their windows and doors replaced before the end of the year.

A more informed consumer base, with a wide and varied product range means consumer interest in our industry has perhaps never been so great or so knowledgeable. Something we should be taking advantage of.

And going back to an earlier point, households have a record amount of disposable income to spend. Take a look at this chart:

There is a wealth of income to tap into. If people are going to start thinking of staying at their current address and not moving, this is a potential the whole of the home improvement sector should be looking to make the most of.

If our industry has its finger on the pulse, and some of the better companies should, then we should be looking at helping to create another “don’t move, improve” movement and encourage home owners to invest in new windows and doors. A boost for their homes and a boost for our industry. A win/win!

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