America's demand for siding will rise 8.2% per year from 2010 to reach 906 million square meters in 2015, but the residential part of the business still will trail what demand was as far back as 2000, The Freedonia Group forecast today. Masonry and concrete--including brick, tile, and fiber cement--all will gain market share in coming years, while vinyl and wood will see slight declines, the Cleveland-based economic forecasting shop predicted.

The forecasts were made in terms of square meters because the U.S. numbers were part of a global forecast in which Freedonia predicted the siding market worldwide will grow 4.8% per year thorugh 2015 to over 5 billion square meters worth $87 billion.

The growth in U.S. demand follows a period in which housing starts have fallen nearly 80% since peaking in 2006. That in turn caused residential demand for siding to plunge nearly 50%, slumping to 451.5 million square meters in 2010 from 896.1 million square meters in 2005, Freedonia said. Meanwhile, the sputtering economy caused demand for siding on nonresidential projects to dip 22.5%, to 160.7 million square meters in 2010 from 196.9 million square meters five years earlier.

Counting on an inevitable rebound in home building, Freedonia predicted growth in siding demand for new residential building construction will rise 17% annually to hit 697 million square meters in 2015. "However, demand for siding for new residential building construction applications will still not reach the level obtained in 2005 or even in 2000" when demand stood at 730.2 million square meters, the company said. On the nonresidential side, Freedonia predicts 7% annual growth in demand.

The combined masonry and conrete category will rise to account for 42% of demand in 2015 from 37% in 2000, thanks primarily to increased desire for brick, tile, and fiber cement. Demand for vinyl is forecast to dip to 40% of the total from 42% five years previously, while wood will see a similar two-point drop to account for 10% of the market. Metal siding, at 7%, will account for virtually all of the rest.

The numbers are part of a 368-page report called "World Siding (Cladding)" that Freedonia is selling for $6,100.