For many people, one of the most surprising aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic was its effect on the US housing market. Though many expected a contraction and reacted accordingly, the opposite held true. People in cities looked to move to exurban and suburban areas to lower their risk of contracting the virus or have more space, spurring both the construction of new homes and fevered buying of any stock that came to market. Homeowners – unable to spend on dining out, vacations, and other forms of entertainment – engaged in a spree of remodeling activity.
The roofing industry was one of the segments that benefitted from this surge of activity in 2020 and 2021. Every new residence erected required a new roof, while millions of homeowners decided it was time to repair or replace their existing roofs. Demand for roofing materials surged. Contractors were stretched to complete the jobs available. Despite product shortages and slowdowns at job sites due to COVID-19-related protocols, the US residential roofing market saw record high levels of demand – first in 2020 and again in 2021. Will this high level of market activity continue going forward?
New Housing to Pace Growth, but Reroofing to Remain Strong
New housing applications will continue to post solid demand growth through 2025. Housing starts – particularly in the important single-family segment – will remain high going forward as the industry continues to erect new homes. After a period of below-average investment in new housing, builders will continue to put up new homes, confident that there exists a large pool of interested buyers. However, the much larger reroofing segment will continue to support roofing demand. The US has many homes with roofs at or near the end of their expected product lifespans; homeowners – fueled by rising property values and a favorable lending environment – will undertake roof replacement projects, often upgrading their roofs to include products that are more attractive or offer better protection from the elements.
Asphalt Shingles to Continue to Lead Market
Asphalt shingles account for the largest share of residential roofing demand in the US and will continue to do so going forward. These products are favored by contractors and homeowners alike due to their aesthetic and performance properties, including long lifespans and high levels of moisture resistance. Furthermore, consumers increasingly specify laminated asphalt shingles with multiple layers to impart enhanced resistance to uplifts and impacts. These shingles are especially preferred in coastal areas, where severe weather can stress even the most durable of roofing materials.
Metal Roofing, Roofing Tile, and Solar Roofing to Post Above-Average Growth
While asphalt shingles will remain the leading residential roofing product, contractors and homeowners will increasingly specify other roofing materials for installation on homes across the US. These products include:
- Metal roofing: Standing seam roofing panels and metal shingles, shakes, and tiles will be chosen by homeowners who want a more durable alternative to asphalt shingles, or those who want a roofing material capable of reducing cooling costs in the summer
- Roofing tile: Perennially popular in the American Southwest and Florida market segments, roofing tiles will see increasing use in areas where high winds are a concern (the weight of roofing tiles makes them highly resistant to uplift)
- Solar roofing: An alternative to roof-mount solar panels, solar roofing products feature integrated solar modules that generate electricity that can supplement (if not replace) externally sourced electric power.
For more information about the size and growth of the US residential roofing market, check out The Freedonia Group’s new study, Residential Roofing.