Asphalt Shingles Lead Market as Demand for Roofing Materials Rises

Reconstruction, remodeling gain as home sales slump

New York (January 23, 2007) – The past year presented a number of challenges to the residential roofing market. A nationwide housing slump, expected to continue well into 2007, had many homebuilders singing the blues. Meanwhile, asphalt shingle manufacturers that anticipated another active hurricane season ended the year with large product inventories. The good news: their current oversupply will soon come in handy.

According to a recent report, “Roofing Materials in the U.S.,” published by Specialists in Business Information (SBI), a division of MarketResearch.com, demand for all roofing products will surpass $15 billion by 2010, with asphalt shingles and sheet metal roofing leading that growth. In the residential market, increases will be most evident in the home reconstruction and remodeling sectors, says the report.

Reed Construction Data also predicts that while the number of new residential projects will decrease in 2007, improvements such as remodeling, renovations and replacement work will rise 8.2 percent to $173 billion.

In addition, market watchers point out that overall numbers of new housing starts remain near historic highs despite the downturn, and housing declines are beginning to stabilize in parts of the country. In November 2006, the Northeast and Southern regions posted month-over-month increases in new housing starts, according to Reed. 

“Even though we have had a slowdown, there continues to be a lot of residential construction going on in Florida,” says Steve Munnell, Executive Director of the Florida Roofing Contractor’s Association (FRSA).

In the Sunshine State alone, several large condominium projects have recently broken ground, reports the December 2006 issue of RSI: Roofing, Siding and Insulation magazine, in cities including Sunny Isles Beach, Clearwater and St. Petersburg.   

Many of those projects will use asphalt shingles, which are the predominate building material in the Florida housing market and comprise 67% of the total U.S. roofing market supply, according to Specialists in Business Information.

“Asphalt shingles are the leading choice among homeowners and builders because they are a great value for the dollar paid, durable, easy to install, and are available in a wide variety of designs and colors for any type of house style,” says Russell Snyder, Executive Vice President of the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer’s Association (ARMA).

Increasingly popular today, adds Snyder, are architectural shingles that are nearly twice as thick as a standard shingle, with layers staggered to create a three-dimensional appearance. This type of shingle typically is designed to resemble slate or wood shakes.   Many shingles are now available that are similar in color and style to concrete and cement tile roofing.

Adding to their visual appeal, asphalt shingles have a long life span and are suitable for virtually all sloped roof pitches, from shallow rise to vertical. Asphalt shingles are also suitable for use in areas designated as high-wind zones. A new building code approved wind-resistance classification system, developed by ARMA, allows builders, roofing installers and homeowners to choose the proper type of shingle able to withstand high-wind situations like storms and winter weather.

For more information about asphalt shingles, or to speak with an ARMA roofing expert, please contact Dan Fernandez at (212) 297-2121.

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About the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association 
The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) is the North American trade association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of bituminous-based residential and commercial fiberglass and organic asphalt shingle roofing products, roll roofing, built-up (BUR) roofing systems, and modified bitumen roofing systems.

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