Maintenance spend soars due to strong remodeler demand

Housing activity remains strong in November, experiencing blanket growth across key indicators for the second time this year. Nine months into the pandemic, we’re seeing some clear trends emerging related to homeowner behavior.

“Maintenance spend surged in November to the largest year-over-year increase we’ve ever seen,” said Jonathan Kanarek, managing director of BuildFax, a Verisk business. “While the rising costs of building materials play a strong factor, investment in the existing housing stock has increased amid the pandemic as Americans spend significantly more time at home and focus on home improvements. Additionally, rising home prices due to tight supply has propelled homeowners to reinvest in their existing homes instead of re-entering the market.”

In the new construction sphere, single-family housing authorizations increased significantly by 9.14% year over year, trending upward for the fourth consecutive month. New construction activity remains strong as homebuilders push to meet demand. However, even with increasing new construction, the United States is still in the midst of a housing shortage. Tight housing supply, climbing construction costs, and an expected rise in interest rates in response to a COVID-19 vaccine candidate may cause continued affordability challenges.

New and Existing Housing Supply Activity, November 2020

  • Single-family housing authorizations increased 9.14% year over year.
  • Existing housing maintenance volume increased 5.43% year over year.
  • Existing housing remodel volume increased 6.38% year over year. 

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