Demand for roofing nationwide will rise 3.5% per year through 2017, reaching 268 million squares worth $27.2 billion, the Freedonia Group forecast today.

That marks a turnaround from the 2007-2012 period, when demand in the U.S. shrank by 7.7% to 225.6 million squares from 244.5 million. Credit gains in both residential and nonresidential markets will be responsible for the growth, the Cleveland-based research group said.

All the various subcategories of roofing are set to grow, but at different rates. Demand for asphalt shingles—the dominant category with 57% of the market—will rise 4.1% per year to 156.5 million squares in 2017, Freedonia said. Among other product types, demand for bituminous low-slope roofing will increase 1.2% annually to hit 35.5 million squares in 2017, metal roofing demand will grow 3.3% per year to 24 million squares, elastomeric roofing will rise 2.4% annually to 20.7 million squares, and demand for plastic roofing will see 3.9% annual growth to 13.7 million squares.

Freedonia paid special attention to roofing tiles, whose 5.5% forecast annual growth rates tops all other categories, though the actual number of squares expected by 2017 will reach just 13.3 million. "Advances will be driven by a rebound in residential building construction activity in the West and South, where tiles are most often installed," Freedonia said in a statement. "Demand also will be supported by interest in these products because of their favorable aesthetics and ability to be used on cool roofs."

The forecast is part of a new 408-page report on roofing that Freedonia issued today. It sells for $5,300. —Craig Webb, editor-in-chief, REMODELING.