Magazine ABCs July-Dec 2006: Home and Garden

Enthusiasm for home improvement seems to have waned a little as the hikes in interest rates continue to take their toll on the housing market.

This was perhaps best illustrated by the rapid demise of two of the home interest market's most high-profile recent launches: Channel 4's 4 Homes spin-off was axed at the beginning of January, rapidly followed by News Magazines' Inside Out title.

At best, the home interests market put in a flat performance. IPC's Ideal Home, the market leader, saw its year-on-year circulation decrease by 5.7 per cent to 231,643. House Beautiful, published by The National Magazine Company, also suffered a significant decline, with its readership falling by 5 per cent, year on year.

However, NatMags will be encouraged by the performance of its Country Living title, which rose by 1.1 per cent year on year, ending 2006 with a circulation of 193,372.

The gardening sector saw the entrenchment of BBC Gardeners' World's market-leading status. The 236,207 circulation for the BBC Magazines publication was just up on last year's figure, while its closest rivals, IPC's Amateur Gardening and Emap's Garden News, were hovering around about the 45,000 mark.

Verdict The slowdown of the house price boom has led to a decline in consumer interest within the home improvement market. This decline in interest looks likely to continue as the Bank of England considers further interest rate hikes.

TITLE PUBLISHER Total ABC Period-on- Year-on-
period year
% change % change
Ideal Home IPC Media 231,643 -2.5 -5.7
Country Living NatMags 193,372 0.6 1.1
House Beautiful NatMags 188,160 -3.7 -5.0
House & Garden Conde Nast 141,074 0.4 0.5
Homes & Gardens IPC Media 138,323 -0.5 1.6
BBC Good Homes BBC Magazines 127,024 -6.6 -6.4
25 Beautiful Homes IPC Media 115,341 0.9 1.8
Wallpaper* IPC Media 112,871 n/a 2.4
Your Home Essential 103,458 -15.1 -14.4
BBC Homes &
Antiques BBC Magazines 100,212 -0.9 -0.8
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations, July-December 2006.

TITLE PUBLISHER Total ABC Period-on- Year-on-
period year
% change % change
BBC Gardeners'
World BBC Magazines 236,207 -21.4 0.2
Amateur Gardening IPC Media 45,146 -9.1 -1.6
Garden News Emap 43,191 -13.0 -8.6
The English
Garden (UK) Archant 33,031 -7.0 0.9
Garden Answers Emap 32,056 -28.8 -17.2
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations, July-December 2006.

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