Muchos extranjeros nos preguntamos por qué los americanos construyen principalmente en madera, por lo menos en cuanto a casas y apartamentos (hasta 5 pisos) se refiere. Esta casa se encuentra en North Boulevard, en el barrio de Rice University, donde la mayoría de "single family residences" - independiente a su revestimiento exterior - se han erguido sobre estas estructuras que a veces nos recuerdan a las estructuras "de fósforos".
Si bien esta información no es perfecta, es una buena aproximación a las posibles razones, en adición a un "insight" sobre el tema de resistencia a huracanes, que cobra importancia en la mayoría de centros urbanos en Estados Unidos. Proceda con esta lectura, y de una vez afile su inglés:
America has an abundance of wood, and our vernacular architecture is based on this. We have built from wood for so long that we have a very developed industry based on wood - modular wood sizes for lumber and plywood/drywall, wood strength, building codes, etc. Vernacular: Style of architecture, of or relating to a place.
Concrete and concrete block are part of the vernacular architecture of other regions because the materials that make up concrete are plentiful there. (Cement, sand/gravel). Concrete materials are plentiful here, too, but it's more expensive to build out of concrete here because of the labor, engineering involved, and added time it takes for concrete to cure. We typically only build larger buildings out of concrete. Use of concrete for tall buildings, is a regional thing in the U.S. - some places build mostly with steel, and some build mostly from concrete. Anyhow, we do typically use concrete for a house foundation/basement in the US. And in all cases (other than maybe fence post foundations), when concrete is used in the US, it is engineered. I know for a fact that is not always the case in many countries where concrete is the vernacular.
Hurricanes: Regardless of what makes up the structure (wood, concrete, or steel), in the US, it is sized/engineered to withstand wind loads. So, hurricane areas have buildings to withstand the typical high winds of hurricanes. The problem is when non-hurricane areas get hit by a hurricane (Sandy). And in that case, none of the area is typically prepared for it - it has less to do with a building being made of concrete since most buildings are still "in tact" after a hurricane, but rather there's problems or life-lost because of the flooding, our dependence on electricity and AC, extreme temperatures, etc. Resilient design is a big buzzword in architecture right now, and that idea looks to return to vernacular (regional) solutions to problems like temperature extreme and loss of electricity, since back in the day there was no electricity and they did just fine.
And not part of your question, but Tornados are usually way more destructive than hurricanes, but they are so powerful, it's impossible to design a building to withstand their wind loads. Concrete bunkers in tornado prone areas are used, but the whole house is not built from concrete.