Report credits residential market prospects in precast industry rebound

Source: Freedonia Group, Cleveland

U.S. demand for precast concrete products is forecast to rise 6.1 percent annually to $11.3 billion in 2015, representing a turnaround from the 2005-2010 period when demand fell due to a precipitous drop in construction activity toward the latter part of the period. Growth in demand will be driven by an across-the-board rebound in construction activity from a low 2010 base. These and other trends are presented in Precast Concrete Products, a new Freedonia Group study tracking building and nonbuilding market prospects over the next five years.

Residential building will be the fastest growing market for precast concrete products, advancing at a rate of 9.3 percent annually through 2015. Growth will be helped by the expected large rise in housing starts from a low 2010 base. Products that will fare particularly well in this market include foundations, basement walls and floors. Nonresidential building is the largest precast concrete product market, comprising nearly one-half of all demand. Strong growth is expected in the office and commercial, and institutional market segments, where precast concrete products are used because of their ease of installation, consistent product quality and long lifespan.

Of all product types, architectural building components are forecast to see the fastest growth in demand through 2015. Growth will be spurred by the rising use of such products as decorative façades, door and window surrounds, and siding. Roofing tiles will also support demand and will benefit from their popularity in the rapidly growing residential markets in the South and West.

Structural building components account for the largest share of precast concrete demand, the Freedonia report contends. Above-average growth will be reflected in builders specifying precast concrete products at the expense of less durable wood and more costly steel products.