LONDON: Wolseley shares were in demand yesterday on suggestions that house repair and improvement will be better business than house building.
"We expect to see an increasing trend of 'improving not moving' in both the residential and non-residential sectors", said a Credit Suisse broker
Wolseley shares hit their highest since early 2009, up 21p to 1751p. Credit Suisse advised investors to put their money into builders' merchants rather than house builders. The broker expects house building to suffer "a vacuum of positive catalysts in the coming months - from consumer confidence to bank lending".
The broker said: "We expect to see an increasing trend of 'improving not moving' in both the residential and non-residential sectors, ie where a homeowner or business is unwilling to make the large capital commitment to acquire a larger property in an uncertain economic environment, but instead chooses to renovate existing premises."
But Travis Perkins failed to follow Wolseley's positive lead and was down 10p to 833p fuelling speculation that the company's proposed takeover of plumbing and heating supplier BSS Group, 21/2p weaker at 444p, may have hit a snag.