2020: A Record Year For Roofing, But Growth Opportunities Will Continue

2020: A Record Year For Roofing, But Growth Opportunities Will Continue

Despite a global pandemic, the year 2020 saw record demand for roofing in the US, spurred by such factors as:

  • high levels of housing starts as firms raced to build homes in an overheated housing market
  • homeowners with the financial means to do so investing in home repair and remodeling projects, such as the replacement of older or worn roofs
  • multiple severe weather events in the US (especially in the South) that caused widespread roof damage

After this record year of roofing demand, many in the industry are curious as to what the future hold and wonder if can that growth be sustained.

New Housing Market to Remain Strong

Housing starts – especially in the key single-family segment – rose sharply in 2020 and peaked in the first half of 2021. Home builders took advantage of strong demand by erecting as many houses as possible. While demand for new housing is expected to moderate through 2025, housing starts are expected to remain at an elevated level going forward since the US will continue to have a surplus of potential home buyers. This high level of housing starts will boost demand for a wide range of steep-slope roofing materials, key among them:

  • asphalt shingles
  • roofing tile
  • metal roofing – both standing seam panels and metal shakes, shingles, and tiles

Large Stock of Older Roofs to Provide Opportunities in Reroofing Segment

The US has a large – but aging – housing stock; many residences are nearing fifty years of age.  In many cases these homes have their original roofing materials, which are likely worn and in need of repair or outright replacement. These thousands of roofs nationwide offer roofing contractors and other professionals a tremendous opportunity for sales. Furthermore, surging home values and low interest will make it possible for homeowners to access the equity in their homes – a common source of funding home improvement projects. Many homeowners will take advantage of these favorable lending opportunities to install new roofs.

Growing Awareness of Severe Weather Risks to Boost Demand for Weather-Resistant Roofing

The US has experienced multiple severe weather events over the past few years – multiple landfalls of hurricanes and tropical storms, tornadoes, winter storms, and hailstorms – that have caused widespread and severe roof damage across the nation. In many of these cases, damage could have been mitigated (if not prevented) by use of more durable roofing materials that better withstand high winds, moisture, and impacts. Going forward, insurers and building code professionals will increasingly mandate that property owners install such products to minimize storm damage, thus boosting demand for items like:

  • laminated asphalt shingles
  • metal roofing (both steep- and low-slope types)
  • plastic and rubber single-ply membranes with thick backing scrims
  • concrete and clay roofing tile

For more information about the size and growth , check out The Freedonia Group’s new study, Roofing.