World demand to rise 7% annually through 2017
In 2012, global demand for windows and doors totaled $151 billion. Through 2017, demand for these products is expected to rise 7.0 percent annually to $211 billion, significantly exceeding the growth rate of the 2007-2012 period. Gains will be somewhat exaggerated by a weak 2012 base in the developed world, particularly in the US. Growth will be stimulated by recoveries in the building construction markets of many developed countries. Additionally, continued strong increases in building construction activity in developing areas will boost demand.
China to remain top market, expand share of demand
China was the world’s largest window and door market in 2012, and will see its share of global demand rise from 30 percent in 2012 to one-third in 2017. Continuing rapid economic growth and industrialization, as well as an increase in the average size of a housing unit in the country (thus leading to additional demand for windows and doors), will boost gains. Additionally, as personal incomes rise, households can better afford more expensive, modern fenestration products, thereby increasing the value of demand. As such, China is expected to post robust demand gains of nearly nine percent annually through 2017, a rate slower than that of the previous decade but still among the highest in the world.
Rapid demand gains are also expected in other developing areas of the world, particularly in the Africa/Mideast region and Central and South America. However, gains will be slightly below the world average, as the global financial crisis did not have as strong of an impact as in the developed areas, and developing areas are starting from a higher 2012 base. Rising personal incomes will lead to the adoption of more Western style building practices, encouraging the use of modern windows and doors and boosting demand gains.
The US market for windows and doors is forecast to post a strong recovery and see gains of over 10 percent per year through 2017, after declining more than seven percent annually between 2007 and 2012. The primary driver of demand will be an expected housing market recovery in the country. Western Europe, another region that saw declining window and door demand between 2007 and 2012, is also projected to see a recovery through 2017, though not as strong as that in the US.
Plastic windows, doors to be fastest growing products
Plastic window and door products are expected to see the fastest demand gains through 2017. Growth will be supported by increasing demand for vinyl windows due to their low cost, durability, minimal maintenance requirements, and superior insulative abilities. In 2017, plastic win-dows are projected to account for nearly 40 percent of total window demand, with the Asia/Pacific region accounting for the largest portion of demand. Plastic win-dows also enjoy popularity in developed areas such as the US and Western Europe, as energy efficiency is a growing concern for many households. Advances will be further supported by rising demand for plastic materials in the smaller door segment. Traditionally, wood doors were aesthetically preferred to plastic doors, but improvements in processing techniques have allowed manufacturers to produce fiberglass doors that more closely resemble wood.