Figures from the cost information service BCIS point to an inflation-led threat to the housing repair and maintenance market, as prices rise 20% over two years.

Energy inflation, skills shortage and rocketing global materials prices are combining to pump up inflation just at a time when may households are considering staying put and doing up their homes rather than trading up.

But with households increasingly squeezed for cash, the chances are that price hikes of this magnitude will lead to la smaller workload for the RMI sector.