Housing activity holds steady as consumer confidence slides

Housing activity was largely positive in September, although the pace of growth has slowed from its white-hot trajectory following the COVID-19 pandemic.

New and existing housing supply activity, September 2021

  • Single-family housing authorizations increased 6.81% year over year.
  • Existing housing maintenance volume increased 2.01% year over year.
  • Existing housing remodel volume slightly decreased 0.22% year over year. 

New construction increased alongside an uptick in homebuilder confidence, which is likely driven, in part, by easing building material costs. However, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and increased demand for housing continue to strain the market.

In terms of the existing housing stock, maintenance activity increased while remodels remained relatively flat. While existing housing activity has stabilized in recent months, homeowners are still making significant investments in their homes. Pool construction, for instance, skyrocketed in the beginning months of the pandemic as Americans spent more time at home and sought out improvements to their livable spaces. This trend continued into 2021 with pool construction remaining high compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Despite consumer confidence falling to a seven-month low in September, the housing market has been particularly robust this year. Looking forward, concerns over the spread of the delta variant and rising inflation may continue to dampen consumer confidence, clouding the housing market outlook as 2021 comes to a close.

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