Demand nationwide for molding and trim will rise 10% per year to become a $10.15 billion market by 2014, largely because of a revival in new-home construction, the Freedonia Group forecast today. That's a turnaround from the previous five-year period, when the market shrank by an average 7.6% annually and demand dwindled to $6.3 billion by 2009, the Cleveland-based research group said.

Demand for molding alone, after shrinking 8.7% annually from $4.34 billion in 2004 to $2.75 billion in 2009, will rebound to a 9.9% growth rate and reach $4.4 billion in 2014, Freedonia predicted. Interior molding will benefit from more construction of new homes, it said, while exterior trim will benefit from demand from the shift toward plastic exterior products, which tend to be more high-priced as well as more durable.

Meanwhile, stairwork demand will recover from its 5.6% annual decline lately--from $2.49 billion in 2004 to $1.87 billion in 2009--and grow 9.3% annually to hit $2.91 billion in 2014. Demand for all other products, which had shrank 7.7% per year to go from $2.51 billion 2004 to $1.68 billion in 2009, will jump 11.1% over the following five years to hit $2.84 billion, Freedonia said.

New residential construction typically accounts for 40% of all demand for molding and trim, but by 2009 the housing market has sunk to the point where only 20% of molding and trim demand came from new-home building, Freedonia said. By 2014, it believes, new-home building will again figure in 40% of all demand.

As for the nonresidential building market, demand will accelerate as the office and commercial segment gets out of its recession-induced funk, Freedonia said.

"Despite competition from plastics and wood-plastic composites, wood will remain the leading material for molding and trim, with gains supported by the recovery in residential building construction," Freedonia said. "Solid price gains for wood will further boost market value. By 2014, plastic is forecast to surpass metal as the second leading material for molding and trim. Demand for plastic products will benefit from the rebounding new residential construction market, especially for exterior trim. Plastic products perform better than wood against exposure to the elements, thus making plastic an ideal choice for exterior molding and trim products. Further, improvements in the appearance of plastic have made high-end plastic molding almost indistinguishable to the untrained eye from wood molding."

The forecasts and analysis are part of a new 253-page report from The Freedonia Group. The report costs $4,900.