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This study covers the United States market for landscape water features, which are defined as fountains, ponds, and waterfalls used in landscaping activities.
Water features made from scratch using materials not specifically marketed as for use in water feature installations are excluded – e.g., ponds made by placing underlayment in a hole in the ground and filling it with water. Additionally, consumables, equipment, and furniture are excluded from the scope of this study, as are any related service revenues. Feed products for fishponds are also excluded, as are other live products often used in water feature applications, such as snails and plants.
Analysis of the landscape water features market in the US is provided by product:
Demand is also segmented by market:
recreation and infrastructure (e.g., parks, golf courses, playgrounds)
Finally, demand is examined by US region.
Historical data for 2010, 2015, and 2020 and forecasts to 2025 and 2030 are provided for demand in current dollars (which are not adjusted to account for inflation).
In 2020, the residential market accounted for 84% of demand for water features:
While these products are found in other markets as well, homeowners more frequently purchase pre-built water features or kits because they are more likely to be smaller and easier to install.
Additionally, homeowners are more likely to replace these products when something malfunctions.
On the other hand, nonresidential water features tend to be larger and more complex, which creates greater incentive to maintain existing water features over replacement. Water features find minimal use in recreation applications, such as park fountains, but like the commercial market, these tend to be larger installations than seen in residences.
Through 2025, demand for water features is forecast to rise 1.1% per year to $1.0 billion, supported by increasing building construction and continued growth of the outdoor living trend, which accelerated during the pandemic as consumers began using outdoor spaces more often for socializing and other activities. However, water conservation concerns, especially in the South and the West, will continue to limit the base of potential purchasers.
Growth in the commercial market and recreation and infrastructure market will increase at a faster pace (from a much smaller base) through 2025, bolstered by:
rebounding commercial building construction spending in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic (building owners, especially in the retail sector, will invest in making their properties more desirable for potential tenants to recoup business lost during the pandemic)
growing interest in public and commercial green spaces, including rooftop gardens, especially in urban areas
Demand by Region
Demand for landscaping water features is affected by demographic, economic, and other trends in different ways depending on geographic location. Across the major regions of the United States – Northeast, Midwest, South, and West – there are important differences in economic strength, population growth, construction markets, and stocks and sales of existing homes.
There are a number of other significant differences among these regions, including:
climate and weather patterns
cultural differences and consumer preferences
Each of these affects potential market size and the ways in which water features are used. For example, while water conservation concerns limits the base of potential purchasers in the South and the West, the warmer climates in these regions also allow larger, more extensive landscaping product installations – including water features – as the outdoor living season is longer and can justify a greater investment in outdoor amenities.
Conversely, areas with temperatures that drop below freezing can limit the use of water features, since products such as fountains must generally be emptied to avoid structural damage from frozen water, in addition to other weatherization requirements.
Demand for water features in landscaping is expected to advance 1.1% per year through 2025 to $1.0 billion. The South, the largest regional market in 2020, will continue to drive market gains, supported by:
above average population growth
its temperate climate, which supports longer use of outdoor living areas
relatively fast growth in construction activities
Although they will experience below average gains in population and construction activity, as well as less favorable weather conditions, the Northeast and Midwest will see growth similar to the South and West as interest in purchasing water features to improve outdoor spaces is also high in these regions.
Many variables can influence pricing for landscaping water features, including:
raw material, labor, energy, and transportation costs
level of demand
customization and design expenses
trade and tariff issues
As a result, there is a wide variation in the prices of water features, ranging from about $30 for a small plastic fountain to thousands of dollars for a large, custom-made stone one. Ponds and waterfalls comparably range in price based on size and material.
Through 2025, average prices for landscaping water features are forecast to rise minimally to $451 per unit, driven primarily by material cost increases. Additionally, consumer interest in higher value products that enhance the aesthetic appeal of outdoor living spaces will aid gains.
The cost of plastic materials, which are commonly used in a variety of water feature products, is influenced by crude oil and natural gas prices. Energy costs also affect concrete and clay brick prices, both of which undergo energy-intensive production processes.
Downward pricing pressure in some product areas also stems from the significant share of these products that are imported from countries with lower production costs, mostly in the Asia/Pacific region. In certain product segments, the manufacturing cost savings more than offset the cost of shipping the finished product to other markets. This influx of lower priced landscaping products puts pricing pressure on domestically produced versions.
Increasing demand for larger, more specialized, or aesthetically pleasing products is causing a shift in the market toward higher value products, which in turn boosts average prices.
US demand for water features used in landscaping is forecast to grow 1.1% per year to $1.0 billion in 2025 from a high base in 2020. Though growth will be slow through 2025 as a result of the elevated demand levels of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic spurred a spike in sales of home improvement products, advances will be supported by:
strong interest in creating aesthetically appealing outdoor living spaces, which the pandemic intensified
the popularity of water features for their aural and atmospheric qualities (e.g., soothing sound, attract wildlife) in addition to their aesthetics
development of value-added units – such as water features integrated with lighting or fire elements or with smart controls to increase convenience and coordinate units with other outdoor electronics
increasing availability of smaller options, including such products as ponds and fountains
However, the high cost and sizable outdoor space requirements of most water features – especially larger, more complex units, which can entail significant installation costs – will continue to limit the potential consumer base. Additionally, water conservation efforts and ongoing competition from site-built installations – excluded from this study – will restrain growth.
Residential Water Feature Sales Spiked in 2020 During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic spurred significant investment in improving home outdoor living spaces, including water feature installations. Social distancing and outdoor socializing drove homeowners to add water features to make these areas more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Consumers also devoted more time to DIY projects, promoting sales of fountains, pond kits, and waterfall kits, which are easier to install than more elaborate projects. Kits do not require the professional expertise that such large installations as ponds and waterfalls often need, which was a benefit amid labor shortages and uncertainty surrounding hiring contractors.
As a result of trends in the residential market, demand for water features spiked in 2020 despite stagnancy in the commercial and recreation segments. While the high number of units sold in the residential market in 2020 will lead to a slow rate of expansion through 2025, rebounding commercial construction activity will aid gains, especially in the office, lodging, retail, and foodservice segments, where water features will be installed as part of larger improvement efforts to entice customers to return.
Fountains Will Continue to Drive Market Growth
Fountains are projected to account for 64% of water feature demand gains through 2025, when they will surpass ponds as the most sold product. Continued above average growth for these products will be supported by the lower maintenance and easier installation of these relative to ponds and waterfalls, which also typically require more space. Available in a wide range of styles and designs, fountains can be installed in virtually any outdoor area. Fountain sales will further benefit from the expanding popularity of value-added units, such as fountains integrated with fire elements to fulfill the “fire and water” design trend, or lighting for extra dramatic impact.