Report finds hardscapes continuing to drive unit masonry volume

Sources: Freedonia Group, Cleveland; CP staff

Rising interest in outdoor living will remain a key catalyst of residential concrete or clay brick, block, and paver sales through 2025, according to a new analysis by market researcher Freedonia Group. Hardscaping, by far the leading application for concrete units, is expected to account for 70 percent of total market gains and will continue to capture market share as consumers expand and upgrade their outdoor spaces.

Already a fast-growing trend pre-pandemic, researchers observe, interest in outdoor living spiked in 2020 as homeowners sought to improve the functionality of their spaces or yards in order to provide a safe and aesthetically pleasing area to socialize and entertain. The popularity of outdoor living will continue to spur a variety of home renovation projects going forward, many of which will involve use of bricks, blocks, and pavers. This impact will be strongest in 2021 as homeowners take on projects—including walkways, backyard gardens, patios, fencing installation, and entertainment areas—they did not complete in 2020.

U.S. residential demand for bricks, blocks, and pavers is expected to increase 1.9 percent annually through 2025, with most gains stemming from price increases. Unit growth will be restrained by: a) brick siding facing increased competition from other materials (such as fiber cement) that can mimic the brick aesthetic at a lower cost; b) declining interest in indoor fireplaces, especially those faced in brick; and, c) in newly constructed homes an increasing preference for poured concrete in structural conditions. 

Additionally, Freedonia analysts observe, brick, block & paver demand was elevated in 2020, when the market was strong due to housing trends stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic. While unit masonry sales will remain high into 2022, they will begin to slow from their peak by 2025, dragging down average growth.

Freedonia’s Residential Bricks, Blocks, & Pavers report examines the U.S. residential market by product, application, market sector, housing type, and region. Historical data are provided for 2010, 2015, and 2020, with forecasts for the years 2025 and 2030 in current dollars (including inflation) and units.

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