Stucco stayed on top of the list of primary exterior building materials for single-family houses with 27 percent of new dwellings coated in the wall covering, while vinyl siding remained in second place with fiber cement gaining ground.
The latest figures about the characteristics of the nation's most recently built housing come from the U.S. Census Bureau, which shows 1.02 million dwellings constructed in 2022.
Vinyl siding was installed on 24 percent of new homes, just edging out fiber cement at 23 percent, to hold the second spot.
In terms of units, builders used stucco on 279,000 new houses, while vinyl siding was installed on 250,000 houses, fiber cement on 240,00 houses, brick on 189,000 houses, wood on 45,000 houses and "other" on 19,000 houses.
Vinyl siding manufacturers are determined to keep their lead over fiber cement for newly built homes, especially since buyers tend to select updated versions of their original siding when it comes to remodeling.
With remodeling factored into overall siding demand, vinyl siding continues to top the list of sought-after materials for building exteriors and will hold its place into the next decade, according to Freedonia Group.
Overall siding demand is forecast to grow about 1.4 percent annually and reach 110.4 million squares through 2030, Freedonia Group says, with vinyl products holding the top spot at 27.4 million squares compared with 24.9 million squares for fiber cement and 15.5 million squares for stucco.
To maintain appeal, siding extruders are touting new vinyl profiles, colors, and insulating and sound-proofing qualities to builders and remodelers. While they feel pressure from fiber cement, they also feel confident about their products, according to Steve Booz, vice president of marketing and product development at Westlake Royal Building Products.
Booz pointed to Westlake Royal's solid core CraneBoard-brand products, which is manufactured with Neopor-brand insulation to bridge over the framing of a house and provide more insulating power than fiber cement, wood, engineered wood and brick.
With $2.9 billion in annual sales, Houston-based Westlake Royal is the No. 3 pipe, profile and tubing extruder in North America, according to Plastics News' latest ranking.
"Fiber cement has done a nice job of pushing into the remodel market, but at the end of the day, the contractor likes our product better," Booz said in a phone interview. "Vinyl siding is easier to install for the contractor and the homeowner gets a low-maintenance product vs. a constant recaulk-and-repaint project. We keep our eye on fiber cement, but we think we have a winning position against it."
In 2005, when fiber cement siding joined the list of tracked building materials, it had 9 percent of new exterior residential wall share. Since then, fiber cement has gained 1-2 percent annually.
Census officials have been tracking use of vinyl siding since 1992, when it had 23 percent of primary exterior wall share on new homes and began a decade-long climb. The material peaked on new home exteriors in 2002 with a 40 percent share of the distribution.
Not long after, fiber cement began taking market share. But now, officials at Oakmont, Pa.-based Chelsea Building Products Inc. say composite PVC siding — its product is called Everlast — is displacing fiber cement.
With $169 million in annual sales, Chelsea ranks 36th among North American pipe, profile and tubing producers, the new ranking shows.
Made from a proprietary mix of inorganic materials and resins with an acrylic cap for color, Everlast products have been well received in the Northeast and Midwest and are doing well in the Southeast's coastal climates and sun, according to Gary Hartman, Chelsea's vice president of sales and marketing.
"We are taking share from fiber cement in the Midwest," Hartman said in an email. "Composite siding is a high-performance product that offers a lifetime of performance with very little maintenance. Owners don't have to worry about composites having the same issues that other products have, thanks to their water-resistance and sturdy composition."
Hartman said Chelsea officials see strong opportunity for composite siding in the repair and remodel market as well as for multifamily and mixed uses.
"Everlast advanced composite siding is high performance and long lasting, which means it is the preferred choice for a contractor or developer who is going to build and hold on to the property vs. someone who is renovating a property to flip it quickly and inexpensively," Hartman said.