Builders are Stuck on Stucco in the West, In Tune with Vinyl in the Northeast

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The most common exterior wall materials on homes started in 2018 were vinyl siding and stucco, according to data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC). Vinyl siding and stucco were each used on 26% of new homes started in 2018, followed closely by brick or brick veneer at 21% and fiber cement siding (such as Hardiplank or Hardiboard) at 20%. Far smaller shares of single-family homes started last year had wood or wood products (5%) or stone or rock (1%) as the principal exterior wall material. The Census Bureau’s SOC data are available by the nine census divisions, and there are substantial differences in the use of exterior materials across the geographic areas. For example, vinyl rules in the Middle Atlantic and New England, with 74% of the new homes started in 2018 using this building material. Meanwhile, stucco was the most widely used primary exterior wall material in the Pacific, Mountain and South Atlantic divisions in 2018, with a 59%, 52% and 35% market share, respectively. Brick or brick veneer was the top choice in East and West South Central divisions. In the West South Central, 69% of the new single-family homes started in 2018 used brick or brick veneer as the primary exterior material, compared to 46% in East South Central division. NAHB economist Ashok Chaluvadi provides more analysis in this Eye on Housing blog post.

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