by Matt Zielenski
February 7, 2019
While weather patterns and housing activity largely govern the US residential roofing market, the devil is in the details when it comes to understanding key growth trends. For example, as builders and homeowners increasingly specify roofing materials of greater durability – and higher cost – demand for some roofing products, such as laminated asphalt shingles, will rise at an above-average rate.
But there’s plenty of opportunity for industry participants to make themselves more valuable. Here are 3 major trends for residential roofing manufacturers to keep an eye on going forward.
Storm-related reroofing activity fell noticeably in 2018, in marked contrast to 2016 and 2017, when a large number of severe weather events caused widespread roof damage in many parts of the US.
In general, weather-related reroofing activity accounts for about one-third of total US residential roofing demand in any given year. Thus, the respite from destructive weather events in 2018 corresponded with lower US demand for roofing relative to the high levels of 2016 and 2017.
The 2018 hurricane season brought only two major storms to the continental US compared to six in 2017. In addition, a decline in tornado activity from 2017 meant that other parts of the country did not see as much damage.
No matter the level of storm activity, homeowners and roofing contractors across the US will continue efforts to mitigate the effects of severe weather on roofs. Indeed, in the years ahead, demand for roofing materials that are better able to withstand high winds, hail, and heavy precipitation is expected to rise as more insurers require homeowners to use these products as a condition to coverage, and building codes are increasingly modified to necessitate use of more durable roofing.
Types of residential roofing that will best be able to meet rising weather-resistance standards include:
Despite high levels of storm-related reroofing in the US over the past few years, residential reroofing demand in the US is expected to see advances going forward for another reason. Many homes in the US are 40 years old (if not older) and have roofs that are near – if not at – the end of their expected product lifespans.
These roofs will eventually have to be replaced, and many homeowners – buoyed by rising property values and a favorable lending environment – will opt to make this investment in their homes in the near future.
In many cases, these reroofing projects will be more upgrade- than merely replacement-oriented, as homeowners specify roofing materials that not only are more durable, but also offer enhanced aesthetic properties that boost the “curb appeal” of a residence.
Another factor that will bolster residential roofing demand is a continuing increase in housing starts. The US faces a shortage of new homes as:
As a result, housing starts are expected to rise over the next few years as builders move to fill the supply gap. In particular, the construction of new single-family residences – which have more roof area on a per-unit basis than any other housing type – will boost demand for a range of roofing materials, especially asphalt shingles, which are often used on new homes due to their:
For more information about the size and growth of the US residential roofing market, check out Residential Roofing, a recent study from The Freedonia Group. This new study analyzes US residential roofing demand by product market, and subregion, with demand broken out in both area terms (squares) and value terms (US dollars).
Also interested in the commercial side of the US roofing industry? Be sure to download The Freedonia Group's companion report, Commercial Roofing, which presents historical sales data (2007, 2012, and 2017) and forecasts for 2022 and 2027 by product (bituminous, plastic, metal, rubber, and other products), by market (new construction and reroofing), by building type (office, retail, and lodging; institutional; industrial; and transportation and other) and by US Census subregion.
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