More than 70% of Americans, and more than half of all homeowners, express a preference for house siding. And a new survey of more than 2,000 people across the country finds that brick is still favored over other types of siding, especially in the South and Midwest.

Harris Interactive polled 2,073 people over the age of 18 during October 12-14, of whom 69% said they are homeowners. It conducted the online survey, released on Friday, on behalf of the supplier Boral Bricks.

More than three quarters of the homeowners polled prefer one type of siding versus another. And among that subgroup, 59.3% prefer brick, versus 37.1% favoring vinyl siding, 18.5% who prefer stucco, and 13.7% who lean towards fiber cement. Another 8% of homeowners prefer other types of siding not identified in the survey, and 14% have no preference.

The heaviest concentration of homeowners polled by Harris who prefer brick reside in the South (43%), and—perhaps not surprisingly—is 55 years or older (41.5%). The survey also found that 54% of homeowners who prefer brick are college graduates, and half earn more than $75,000 per year.

The Harris poll in some respects corroborates recent Census Bureau data on exterior siding, which found that brick represented between 16% and 21% of the exterior wall materials used on single-family houses built in the years 1999 to 2007. Census data also show, however, that brick has been ceding market share to “other” types of siding that include fiber cement, cinder block and stone. This selection of "other" siding types collectively accounted for 25% of the secondary exterior wall materials used on homes built in 2007.

Census found the Midwest to be the region of the county where brick has been used most prevalently in new-home construction, and by a fairly wide margin over other regions. The Midwest shows up prominently as a brick-preferring market in the Harris poll. The Harris data also reveals that brick is basically neck-and-neck with vinyl among homeowners in the West with a siding preference, and is far outpaced by vinyl in the Northeast.

That being said, Boral’s president Bob Kepford sees evidence in the survey that brick “is still the overwhelming choice” for homeowners with siding preferences. He also suggests that brick’s continued popularity jives with more owners and buyers who are looking for maintenance-free sustainability in their homes.

John Caulfield is senior editor for BUILDER magazine.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Columbus, GA.

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