Single-Family Housing Authorizations Rise for the First Time in Over a Year

The October BuildFax Housing Health Report (BHHR) revealed increases across both new and existing housing activity. Notably, year-over-year single-family housing authorizations increased in October. Although it was a slight uptick, this was the first time since September 2018 that single-family housing authorizations rose year over year.

Maintenance and remodeling activity continued its ascent this month with remodeling outpacing maintenance activity. This suggests homeowner project size and scope has likely been higher over the past few months.

New and Existing Housing Supply

Increases across all major housing activity indices provide further indication that lower mortgage rates and strengthening economic signals are boosting home sales, upgrades, and renovations.

New and Existing Housing Supply Activity, October 2019

  • Single-family housing authorizations increased 2.33 percent year over year.
  • Existing housing maintenance volume increased 6.08 percent year over year.
  • Existing housing remodel volume increased 6.83 percent year over year. 

Wildfires Drive California Maintenance Higher

Almost a year following November 2018’s blanket declines across key housing indices, this month comes on the heels of the one-year anniversary of Camp Fire, which was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s recorded history. As such, BuildFax dove deeper into construction activity across California and shifts in housing activity following recent wildfires.

BuildFax discovered new construction grew 94.34 percentage points more in Camp Fire-impacted Butte County compared to California as a whole. This analysis is based on change in housing activity in the year pre- and post-wildfire. The disparity between housing activity at the state-level and regionally suggests properties Butte County are still in the midst of substantial recovery. As wildfires become more frequent and impact increasingly populated areas, it’s important to track the risk of wildfire-impacted structures, ensuring each is repaired to completion.

Download the full report for a full analysis of national and California-focused trends in housing activity.