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Steel performs well in constrained market

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Market Shares, multi-storey office buildings market, 1980 to 2020

Structural steelwork increased its market share in key sectors during 2020, despite most areas of the construction industry severely contracting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Market Share Survey, which has been produced by independent researchers Construction Markets since 1980, demand in most construction sectors fell by over 20% last year, but steelwork fared well in this weakened market.

The key sheds market was down 23.7%, compared to 2019, with a total floor area of 9,113,000m2. However, steelwork’s market share rose from 92.2% in 2019 to 92.4% in 2020.

According to many developers, this sector is expected to perform well in 2021, due to the knock-on effect of the pandemic lockdown, which has seen the demand for distribution centres increase, partly because of the rise in online shopping.

The multi-storey market was down 22.6% from 2019, but steelwork’s overall share increased from 64.3% to 64.7% in 2020.

Steelwork managed to increase its share in most multi-storey sub-sectors, with a 1.4% market share rise in offices, to an all-time high of almost 74% in 2020. In the retail sector its share was up by 5.5%, in leisure up by 3.6% and in health up by 0.5%.

The residential market fell by 24.7% in 2020, but steelwork’s share for low-rise apartments increased by 3.1% compared to the previous year to 12.5%, which equated to a floor area of 265,000m2.

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