An AMA representative said: "The domestic decking and landscaping materials market was estimated at approximately £920m in 2007. Poor summer weather in 2007/08 and falling consumer confidence has not helped the market and short-term prospects in 2008-09 will be difficult, but longer-term prospects remain fundamentally strong as homeowners continue to invest in improvements to their gardens.
"The market has experienced more subdued market conditions in 2006-08 than in the earlier years of the current decade, mainly due to a combination of increasing pressures on disposable incomes and particularly poor weather conditions during the summer months of 2007-08.
"The hard landscaping sector has been affected by constraints on consumer spending in the current climate and, in particular, by the growing uncertainty within the housing market.
"Larger-scale projects involving paving and decking are more likely to be deferred and a major slowdown in house-moving will also impact on the sector - though some homeowners will adopt the attitude of ‘don't move — improve', which will help underpin the market to some extent."
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- The hard landscaping sector accounts for around 45% of the domestic market.
- Softwood decking products dominate with over 85% though wood/polymer composites have gained wider consumer acceptance.
- Low levels of housebuilding and house-moving are leading to market decline to 2009, before a measure of recovery in 2010. This will be followed by marginal annual growth to 2012 as the market recovers, when it is expected to reach around £950m.