ABC Report: Home and Garden

No surprises in this sector despite speculation over the future of the housing market, Claire Billings says. The home-interest market remains in rude health despite speculation that the housing market is set to take a tumble.

The sector managed a 4.5 per cent year-on-year increase, but this headline figure includes a 24.3 per cent drop by the BBC Homes & Antiques.

Drama in the sector continued to be supplied at the top of the table by The National Magazine Company and IPC titles House Beautiful and Ideal Home respectively. House Beautiful rose 24.4 per cent year on year, just 60,000 copies behind Ideal Home, which was down 0.9 per cent over the same period. NatMags' Country Living continued its seemingly inexorable growth, up 5.4 per cent year on year. It stretched its lead over IPC's Homes & Gardens, which fell 3.5 per cent to 155,843.

The market was buoyed by the launch of Grand Designs, a joint venture between Media Ten and Channel Four on the back of the eponymous TV show.

The title recorded a debut ABC of 50,086.

While the future of the housing market remains precarious, this will not necessarily affect home-interest magazines. Brian Whittaker, the group publisher at BBC Magazines, says: "People will want inspiration for their homes regardless of the performance of the housing market."

The gardening sector continues to be dominated by BBC Gardeners' World and by seasonal changes to circulations.

The market leader was flat on last year's figure. However, Emap's Garden Answers took a year-on-year hit of 14.6 per cent following the arrival of Easy Gardening from the BBC and Garden Life from Seven Publishing.

Verdict No surprises this time round in either sector, but the arrival of Conde Nast's Easy Living next year and ABCs from BBC Easy Gardening and Garden Life look set to provide competition.


TITLE PUBLISHER Total ABC Period- Yr-on-yr

on-period % change

% change

Ideal Home IPC 271,161 -1.20 -0.90

House Beautiful NatMags 211,761 16.30 24.40

Country Living NatMags 179,396 2.80 5.40

Homes & Gardens IPC 155,843 -4.30 -3.50

House & Garden Conde Nast 148,954 0.20 0.20

Your Home Essential 126,886 3.10 n/a

25 Beautiful Homes IPC 121,704 -5.50 -8.30

BBC Good Homes BBC Magazines 119,983 13.00 13.20

BBC Homes &

Antiques BBC Magazines 114,580 -18.80 -24.30

Country Homes and

Interiors IPC 92,058 -2.30 -9.30

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations, January-June 2004.


TITLE PUBLISHER Total ABC Period- Yr-on-yr

on-period % change

% change

BBC Gardeners'

World BBC Magazines 360,342 26.10 0.00

The Garden RHS Publishing 332,033 1.60 6.40

The English Garden* Romsey 75,433 5.70 -10.60

Garden Answers Emap 74,303 22.60 -14.60

BBC Easy Gardening BBC Magazines 61,597 0.50 n/a

Amateur Gardening IPC 59,001 3.80 -8.00

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations, January-June 2004.