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Trade association reports windows continue rebound, vinyl picking up market share

By: Bill Bregar

May 30, 2013

The home building recovery continued in 2012, according to a market report on the window sector, and the outlook looks upbeat for growth through 2015.

Total residential windows are expected to grow 15 percent this year.

The report said the increase was driven by growing new construction demand, as windows for new homes jumped 25 percent. But the remodeling and replacement sector—historically, an important one for vinyl windows — dropped 3 percent for 2012.

Vinyl windows continue to take market share from wood, said the review by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association. The home building strength has helped aluminum windows regain market share.

Overall, residential prime windows grew by 5.8 percent in 2012, to 40.1 million units, the report said. Vinyl windows totaled 27.5 million units, for a 69 percent market share.

Vinyl gained by 7 percent in 2012, to 27.5 million total units. That’s up from 25.7 million units in 2011.

Looking ahead, vinyl windows should continue to grow, by double digits in 2013 and 2014, and 9 percent in 2015, to hit 39.1 million units in 2015, according to the report prepared by Ducker Worldwide LLC in Troy, Mich. Both new construction and remodeling should both grow through the period.

The report, called the 2012/2013 U.S. National Statistical Review and Forecast, was issued in April.

Vinyl jumped 30 percent in new construction, from 6.6 million units in 2011 to 8.6 million units in 2012. for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015, the report predicts that vinyl in new construction will enjoy double-digit gains — generally above 20 percent — to hit 16 million in 2015.

In remodeling, vinyl mirrored the stagnant market for all types of replacement windows, with a 1 percent drop, from 19.1 million units in 2011 to 18.9 million in 2012. But the Ducker report predicts vinyl — along with the entire remodeling window sector — to see single-digit increases through 2015. Vinyl should hit 23.1 million units that year.

The report predicts that glass-fiber reinforced windows, a small niche product, will show modest growth through the period in both new construction and remodeling. The composite windows account for less than 2 percent of the overall market for residential windows.

While new home construction was the bright spot in 2012, doors for nonresidential construction and residential skylights lagged. For the year, demand was flat for entry doors and interior doors for nonresidential buildings like restaurants, schools, offices and healthcare facilities.

Residential skylights closed 2012 with a 2 percent growth rate over 2011, lower than earlier forecasts. A 10 percent increase over 2012 in new construction skylights was offset by a flat remodeling market.