ABC: Home and Garden

Four of the top five home interest magazines were down period on period and year on year in the January-June ABCs, reflecting the uncertainty over interest rates in the housing and retail sectors.

Ideal Home retains a strong lead despite a 5.2 per cent fall on the last period to 247,006. Its nearest rival, The National Magazine Company's House Beautiful, was down 6.6 per cent over the six months to 201,143.

Country Living posted its tenth consecutive ABC figure rise, both period on period and year on year. Its circulation was 189,696, up 2.5 per cent on the previous period, narrowing the gap on its stablemate House Beautiful.

BBC Good Homes posted the highest rise of 4.5 per cent period on period to 135,623.

Uncertainty in the housing market also proved a thorn in the side of gardening titles, with fewer people with new gardens to improve and less disposable income.

All titles were up on the last period because of seasonal differences.

But more tellingly, there was a significant fall on last year across almost all titles. The top newsstand title, BBC Gardeners' World, was down 9.4 per cent over the past 12 months to 326,622. Its publisher, Dominic Murray, is banking on the April relaunch to reverse this. The least hit was Emap's Garden News.

The debut of Seven's Garden Life failed to boost the sector.

Verdict: Home interest and gardening titles were down overall as a reflection of a slowdown in the retail and property markets. Titles in both sectors would benefit from investment in order to grow the markets.

HOME INTEREST TITLE PUBLISHER Total ABC Period-on- Year-on- period year % change % change Ideal Home IPC 247,006 -5.2 -8.9 House Beautiful NatMags 201,143 -6.6 -5.0 Country Living NatMags 189,696 2.5 5.7 Homes & Gardens IPC 146,279 -2.3 -6.1 House & Garden Conde Nast 140,096 -3.1 -5.9 BBC Good Homes BBC Magazines 135,623 4.5 13.0 Your Home Essential 130,274 2.5 2.7 BBC Homes & Antiques BBC Magazines 114,014 -5.1 -0.5 25 Beautiful Homes IPC 107,181 -4.6 -11.9 Living etc IPC 94,041 4.0 9.4 GARDENING TITLE PUBLISHER Total ABC Period-on- Year-on- period year % change % change The Garden RHS Publishing 348,567 0.8 5.0 BBC Gardeners' World BBC Magazines 326,622 26.8 -9.4 Garden Life Seven Publishing 56,267 n/a n/a Garden Answers Emap 55,454 12.2 -25.4 Garden News Emap 54,457 8.1 -2.4 BBC Easy Gardening BBC Magazines 54,012 -2.7 -12.3