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Figures released by Palmer Market Research suggest that aluminium is on course to reach a 17-year high by 2020.

Speaking ahead of the FIT Show, Robert Palmer, said that the specialist research company was forecasting sustained growth for aluminium topping 220,000 frames by the end of the three-year period.

He also highlighted growth in the second-time window replacement market, which he suggests accounted for 70% of all installations last year.

“Having initially dominated the window replacement market, accounting for 95% of all windows in 1979, and 1.8million frames in 1982, aluminium then spent a number of years in the wilderness behind a dominant PVC-U from the late 1990s and timber”, said Palmer.

“While PVC-U remains by some way, the dominant frame material, there has been a significant resurgence in aluminium – something which we expect to continue through to 2020 and beyond.

“This includes notable areas of growth in the aluminium bi-fold door sector. We predict that this will continue through to 2020, achieving total growth of around 50% to 35,000 door sets.”

Palmer Market Research will provide a detailed analysis of the trends defining the window and door industry at this year’s FIT Show, NEC, 23-25 May.

It’s new report The Market for Domestic Entrance Doors argues that a flattening of the market in 2015 saw total volume fall by 0.7%. This was, however, offset by a shift towards higher-end products and higher value installations, which delivered a 2% increase in installed value to £4.20 billion.

Palmer suggests that going forward, prospects are highly variable depending on sector and product offering – aluminium as highlighted is a notable winner.

As in previous years, the home improvement sector continues to dominate, with a value of £3.24 billion last year.  Going forward into this year, Palmer suggests an above forecast performance, with growth at 1.5% to £3.28 billion by the end of 2016.

But this is tempered by a downgrading of the new build forecasts. “Brexit remains an unknown quantity. Although the referendum vote hasn’t had the immediate economic impact that it was forecast to and the UK economy has so far proved more resilient than expected, we would still suggest some ‘slowing in the housing market is likely”, said Palmer.

He continued: “Any possible dip in (house) prices, tends to slow the supply of new homes. This may become more acute if first-time buyers opt to wait-out Brexit before getting on the property ladder.”

Robert Palmer will present analysis from 12.50pm to 1.40pm on the 23rd May as part of the FIT Talk Interview programme, the FIT Show, NEC 23 – 25 May.

As well as providing a forecast of the industry’s prospects through to 2020, he will also offer an analysis of influences on end-user purchasing decisions and trends.

Palmer said: “There’s been a definite shift in end-user preference to premium and higher end products including aluminium but also PVC-U foils, flush finish and mechanically jointed windows.

“This was instrumental in holding up installed values last year, despite the overall fall in volumes. With growth in the second-time replacement market, the very tangible and aesthetic differences in new windows, should be expected to accelerate, taking greater market share going forward, representing sizeable areas of opportunity.”

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