The use of pitched roofing products, namely tiles and slates, is largely dependent on demand from the housebuilding and housing RMI sectors, although commercial uses form part of this market. Conversely, demand for flat roofing and metal roof panel systems is largely driven by refurbishment / re-roofing requirements on commercial, industrial buildings and public sector buildings (non-domestic).
In 2014, conditions in the housing and commercial and industrial markets improved with demand for tiles, flat roofing membranes and metal roofing systems all increasing. The recent shift back toward building houses rather than flats (houses accounted for 80% of all new dwellings completed in 2018), thereby driving up demand for roof tiles and slates. Demand for roof tiles and slates is lower within the commercial and industrial newbuild, and major re-roofing and RMI sectors, where flat roofing and metal roofing systems are used far more extensively. The markets for both types of roofing system have shown consistent growth since 2014, largely driven by increased levels of activity in certain sectors, namely; factories & warehousing, mixed used developments (offices, leisure and retail), stand-alone new office developments and both newbuild and major refurbishment /re-roofing works within the schools and higher education sectors.
While general construction output has slowed in response to growing economic uncertainty around the ‘Brexit’ process, and there is evidence of major investors holding off from funding major commercial and industrial construction projects. This suggests that demand for roofing products in the short-term has been dampened, the medium-term forecast is for growth to pick up again from 2021, albeit at relatively modest levels.