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Hurricane Harvey has set records for total rainfall and overall damage of residential housing and commercial buildings. Unfortunately, the total economic impact has yet to be realized but the total damage of Hurricane Harvey is estimated to fall between $70 and $108 billion. Rebuilding will take years, similar to other devastating storms such as Katrina, Sandy and Andrew.

So, what does this mean for the building materials industry? How can suppliers, distributors and dealers support the effort over the longer term? One step is to understand the scale of rebuilding required and have sufficient supply of building materials stocked and accessible to the Houston and Beaumont areas. Principia Consulting has compiled an analysis of the level of building materials inventory that may be needed in each product category for residential home rebuilding.

Overall, there are 1.8 million housing units (single and multifamily) in the Houston and Beaumont Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSA) with an estimated total replacement value of $474 billion. Of course, not every housing unit will require replacement but the total existing housing stock gives pause to consider the overall potential level of building required. The detailed map for these two CBSAs in Figure 1 depicts the relative total replacement value of housing at the county level.

Figure 1: Houston & Beaumont CBSAs – Total Housing Replacement Value (in $MM) by County

Source: DemandBuilder® from Principia

These replacement value housing figures can be translated into demand for specific building product categories with Principia’s DemandBuilder® data products. DemandBuilder® Roofing reveals an estimated 54.5 MMSQ of existing roofing in the Houston-Beaumont areas with a replacement value of $3.7 billion in materials alone. The bulk of this volume is in the Harris County area with 35.4 MMSQ valued at $2.4 billion. Although these figures represent 100% replacement, a more complete assessment of the impact on material demand will only be finalized after the complete damage of the storm has been determined. For example, if a quarter of the roofs in Harris county need to be replaced, this would represent 8.9 million squares or $600 million of roofing that would be needed.

Further, as flood damage reports become available, Principia will pinpoint specific estimates of roofing demand at a zip code level to focus on the hardest hit areas. A detailed map of replacement roofing potential by zip code is shown in Figure 2 as an example.

Figure 2: Houston & Beaumont – Roofing Replacement Demand (in $MM) by Zip Code

Source: DemandBuilder® from Principia

Principia is in the process of developing detailed assessments for additional categories including lumber, siding, insulation, flooring, windows, doors and weather resistant barriers for the Houston and Beaumont CBSAs and other regions in Texas and Louisiana affected by the storm.

Contact Principia for further detail on projections for building materials demand within the storm’s affected areas.