Housing activity growth continues but may slow

Housing activity showed continued growth across almost all indicators in October.

Single-family housing authorizations increased for the third consecutive month, though the pace of growth slowed from September. While record-low mortgage rates have propelled housing activity forward amid the COVID-19 pandemic, homebuyer demand may have peaked as mortgage applications remained relatively flat in October.

Meanwhile, maintenance and remodeling activity – the latter of which is a subset of maintenance that includes renovations, additions, and alterations – increased across all indicators except maintenance spend. This indicator remained flat, decreasing just 0.05% year over year. As we anticipated, existing housing activity showed continued growth in October, driven in part by a delayed spring homebuying season.

New and Existing Housing Supply Activity, October 2020

  • Single-family housing authorizations increased 2.24% year over year.
  • Existing housing maintenance volume increased 5.23% year over year.
  • Existing housing remodel volume increased 4.59% year over year. 

Housing activity could slow in the coming months, as the recent announcement of a vaccine candidate against COVID-19 produced conflicting signals within housing stocks. We’re closely monitoring how the news may impact a potential reversal in mortgage rates and homebuilder trends.

Download the full report for a full view of the U.S. housing market activity in October.