Each month, BuildFax releases its Housing Health Report (BHHR), which delivers a macro view of the economic trends affecting the U.S. housing market. This month’s report revealed a leveling off of seasonally adjusted, single-family housing authorizations, but a ramp-up in remodeling spend and maintenance activity. These factors suggest that while new construction is slowing, many homeowners are upgrading their existing homes instead. Additionally, in states where affordability is a growing concern, homeowners are turning to alternative options, like accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
New Housing Supply Activity, October 2018
- Single-family housing authorizations remained flat year over year.
- Single-family housing authorizations decreased by 3.08 percent month over month.
Existing Housing Supply
Maintenance and remodel activity are key indicators of economic health, particularly as the U.S. housing stock ages. Residential properties that undergo consistent maintenance also correlate with decreased insurance losses. Although new construction is slowing, increases in remodeling spend (16.57 percent) and maintenance activity (0.41% percent) on a year-over-year basis suggest homeowners are continuing to reinvest in their existing properties.
Existing Housing Supply Activity, October 2018
- Existing maintenance volume increased 0.41 percent year over year.
- Existing remodel volume decreased 4.21 percent year over year.
State-Level Maintenance Activity
By sheer volume, Florida experienced the most maintenance activity. Year over year, the sunshine state was still down 7.83 percent. The heightened level of activity after Hurricane Irma led to inflated levels of maintenance and remodeling activity in the months following the storm.
Spotlight: ADU Activity
ADUs, also known as granny flats, are a popular addition to properties and a potential solution to affordable housing concerns. California, Oregon, and Washington have experienced significant activity in 2018 thus far. California shows the highest volume of ADU construction activity across the country with a year-over-year increase of 53.69 percent in October.
For more insight on the health of the U.S. housing market and the growth of ADUs, download the October 2018 report.