By Tim Boothroyd, Manager of Product Consulting and Residential Statistics, Dodge Data & Analytics
U.S. residential roofing activity is expected to achieve another year of growth in 2017. This contrasts with the relative weakness that occurred between 2006 and 2013, as the residential new construction roofing market floundered. According to Dodge Data & Analytics’ research in the residential new construction and replacement markets, roofing demand rose to 156.7 million squares in 2016 and is forecast to rise an additional 4% in 2017. A relatively stable roofing replacement market, coupled with a strengthening new construction market, buoys a positive market outlook.
Asphalt roofing continues to be the dominant material, occupying 77% of the overall share of activity in 2016. However, metal roofing persistently gains share, attaining 12% overall as more homeowners choose that material for roofing replacement. Rounding out the shares of material are clay and concrete roof tile, wood shakes and shingles, and flat/built-up roofing, each with a share of the market in the low single digits nationally. Asphalt material continues with exceptional strength in the new housing market, while it has diminished slightly in recent years for roof replacements with the advancement of metal roofing. Indeed, the Dodge research shows a growing number of consumers are focusing on longevity and environmental concerns as they make this important investment in their home.
Geography plays an important role in roofing material as well. Homes built in warmer, southern climates have different needs than those in northern colder climates. Additionally, protection against severe rain and wind or snow can also play a part. Asphalt material continues to dominate across all geographies, with highest concentrations found in the West North Central and Mountain regions with 90% share and greater. More interesting patterns emerge in alternative materials. Metal roofing is growing moderately throughout the United States, with the highest concentration happening in the East South Central region, including Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Conversely, clay and concrete tile roofing materials are non-existent in most northern areas, but gain notable market share in Southern California and Arizona.
Finally, reflective roofing and Energy Star certified roofs are also making strides in the residential market. Commonly referred to as cool roofing, these products reflect a portion of the sun’s rays allowing for lower building cooling costs. Expectedly, predominantly warmer climates tend to have a higher concentration of these products with Dodge’s research showing Texas and Louisiana showing growth in the new construction market. Colder North Central U.S., including Nebraska and the Dakotas, has a lower propensity for the application of cool roofs in housing.
Overall, the Dodge Research & Analytics’ study shows many interesting aspects of the residential roofing market. Activity has continued to pick up after the lows occurring since the Great Recession of the late 2000’s. Top level U.S. demand is worth noting as the industry has shown some modest shifts in material based on longevity, durability, and energy efficiency.