Investment in homes and gardens sees building materials’ sales in Scotland surge

The BMF’s Regional Chairman for Scotland, Alan Trail

SCOTLAND has powered ahead with sales of building products, according to figures from a national trade body. 

The Builders Merchants Federation’s Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI), places the region second in their index, after measuring the sales performance at builders’ merchants in 11 areas across Britain. 

Figures for Scotland in Q4 2020 stand at +11.7 per cent, compared with the same timeframe in 2019, against a national average taken across all the regions of +5.4 per cent. 

Scotland has consistently held a leading position in the index throughout 2020 – and reached the top spot for sales of building products throughout 2019.  

The BMF’s Regional Chairman for Scotland, Alan Trail, of Helensburgh-based M & T Builders Merchants, said: “We continue to see strong sales from people diverting money usually allocated for socialising and going on holiday towards home improvements.  

“Coupled with extra time available to them due to lockdown, people are using the opportunity to invest in their homes. 

“As well as a strong retail DIY market, our trade customers report strong order books for 2021.”  

The BMF’s BMBI is seen as a gold standard in the building materials sector to measure sales activity – in an industry considered a key bellwether of the national economy and the ‘mood of the nation’ in terms of home repair, maintenance and improvement.  

Using GfK’s point of sale tracking data, the BMF’s BMBI is drawn from over 80 per cent of builders’ merchants’ sales throughout the country, making it the most reliable source of data for the sector.  

Figures from the BMF’s BMBI are used in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Monthly Construction Update. 

John Newcomb is chief executive of the BMF, which represents members across Scotland. He said: “The BMBI figures show a strong performance in landscaping in Q4, which reflects the fact that the public’s focus on their gardens, seen in the first lockdown, has continued. 

“The Covid effect will continue to be felt for some time to come, but the industry is adapting to the enforced changes it has brought about, leading me to conclude with a cautious degree of optimism for the coming year.”  

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