Two notable closures fail to depress the homes market

The homes market remains a valuable long-term proposition despite two highprofile closures this year, according to one of its publishers.

The sector has seen the closure of News Magazines' Inside Out and Media Ten's Channel 4 branded 4Homes, but the market has stayed relatively stable — up 0.4 per cent overall year on year.

IPC CEO Sylvia Auton announced last week that its next big online launch will be a homes website — encompassing IPC brands such as Ideal Home and Living Etc. The website will include an online directory with approximately 21,000 listings. Ideal Homes remained the top title in the sector with 231,643 sales, while Natmags' House Beautiful remained number two with a total ABC of 188,160.

Yvonne Ramsden, publisher of IPC's Homes titles, said there were signs of improvement in the overall market — a reflection of what was happening with the UK housing market.

"A sense of consumer confidence has come back into the housing market and I think therefore that reflects in the confidence in moving and improving homes, which translates into copy sales."

Ramsden said that despite multi-million pound launch budgets, 4Homes and Inside Out "couldn't cut it" in the fiercely fought sector — a failure she blamed on not offering anything new.

On Inside Out, she added: "Despite the leverage a big newspaper corporation can bring and the advertising support, the consumer didn't vote with their money."

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