PHMI stats show plumbing & Heating sales “holding steady in Q1 2024”

PHMI stats show plumbing & Heating sales “holding steady in Q1 2024”

Figures released by the Builders Merchants Federation in the Plumbing & Heating Merchants Index for the first quarter of 2024 paint a picture of a relatively flat market, with prices appearing more stable.

For Quarter 1 2024 v Quarter 1 2023, total value sales in Q1 2024 were -3.6% lower compared with the same period last year. Volume sales were -6.4% lower, while prices rose by +3.0%. With one less trading day in the first quarter of 2024, like-for-like sales were -2.1% lower than Q1 2023.

Quarter 1 2024 v Quarter 4 2023

Total value sales in Q1 2024 were relatively flat (-0.3%) compared to the previous three months, October to December 2023. Volume sales were +2.8% higher, but prices were down -2.9% quarter on quarter. With three more trading days in the most recent period, like-for-like sales were -5.0% lower.

Latest 12 months v previous year

Plumbing & Heating Merchants value sales in the period from April 2023 to March 2024 showed a marginal increase of +0.8% compared with the previous 12 month period. However, volume sales were -4.2% lower, while prices increased by +5.3%.

Mike Rigby, CEO of MRA Research which produces the report, said: “It’s been a disappointing start to the year with volumes continuing to decline, as economic headwinds subdue consumer demand for new build housing and hard-hit homeowners postpone repair, maintenance, and improvement projects. The latest figures from National House Building Council (NHBC) show that new home registrations in Q1 were down 20% on last year, a sharp drop in numbers which will be keenly felt by trades and merchants alike.

“While the industry struggles to cope with the ongoing downturn, there are other issues on the horizon for merchants. In April, Scotland introduced the New Build Heat Standard which will outlaw direct emission heating systems – such as oil and gas boilers – in new homes and buildings and some conversions.

Mike added: “All eyes will be on how our industry in Scotland adjusts to the new regulations ahead of the roll out of the Future Homes Standard in England and Wales in 2025.”

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The data for the PHMI is taken solely from P&H specialists, including City Plumbing Supplies, James Hargreaves Plumbing Depot, Plumbfix, PTS, Williams & Co, and Wolseley, who form part of GfK’s Plumbing & Heating Merchants Panel. There is no overlap or double counting between the PHMI and the BMF’s established Builders Merchants Building Index which analyses sales at generalist merchants.

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