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Raising the roof: Can high levels of demand continue into 2021?

Owen Thorogood, sales and marketing director for Kestrel, looks back at the turbulent months of 2020 and asks whether 2021 will see continued growth for construction.

Looking back to the start of 2020, feels like a lifetime ago, up until 24 March who had even heard the word furlough let alone knew what it meant? As the country plunged into lockdown, there was a real sense of fear because none of us have been through anything like this before. It was an incredibly difficult time for us all as we watched the public health crisis unfold, wreaking havoc on people’s lives and livelihoods.

When the time came for Kestrel to start to reopen, we couldn’t have predicted how busy we would be after the lockdown. The pent-up demand for houses and home improvements was far greater than anyone anticipated.  The time at home seemed to make people re-evaluate how and where they lived, which meant installers and suppliers was quickly busy.

Like most manufacturers, and in fact all businesses, we have had to adapt how we work. We’ve put Covid compliance at the heart of everything to keep staff and customers safe.

For the staff who didn’t have to come to work, like customer services and business development, we have put in place systems for them to work from home. Our manufacturing side adapted quickly to keep staff as safe as possible while trying to ensure there was minimal disruption to manufacturing once lockdown restrictions were eased

As we look to 2021, the vaccination programme is obviously a game changer but there are many challenges ahead which make it hard to predict if high levels of demand will continue beyond the first quarter of 2021.

We know that the Stamp Duty holiday is set to end along with the current Help to Buy scheme in March 2021. However, with a new Help to Buy scheme starting in April 2021, and the latest lockdown restrictions adding to the argument for an extension to the Stamp Duty holiday, we wouldn’t expect demand to fall off a cliff.

That said, if there’s one thing that 2020 has taught us it’s to expect the unexpected and there will no doubt be a few twists and turns as the year unfolds. Whatever 2021 brings, we can reassure our customers and installers that Kestrel has processes and procedures in place to ensure that we can maintain supply to stockists across the UK.