BuildFax Housing Health Report, January 2019

Housing indicators slide again following increased strain from market instability and global tensions

Each month, BuildFax releases its Housing Health Report, which leverages U.S. property condition and history data to deliver macro- and microeconomic trends affecting the U.S. housing market.

January findings revealed:

  • Single-family housing authorizations saw year-over-year declines for a third consecutive month. This trend is particularly notable as continued declines of this indicator are historically correlated with economic recessions per recent BuildFax research.
  • Maintenance activity decreased 6.47 percent year over year, an important consideration for insurance carriers as this may spur upticks in claims.
  • Demolition activity saw positive upticks in just three states in 2018. It will be important to watch the progression of demolition projects if a slowdown is on the horizon.

How will the health of the housing market shift in 2019? Download the full report to learn more.


"Declining construction activity during the last few months of 2018 has persisted into the new year. January marks the third month of declines in new and existing housing supply. Given current economic conditions, including the recent government shutdown, sensitivity to interest rate increases and global market stressors, like ongoing trade negotiations, we were not surprised to see persistent declines in housing activity. It is yet to be seen if an easing of these external factors will alleviate the housing slowdown."

Jonathan Kanarek, COO, BuildFax

"Demolition activity can be a leading indicator of economic reinvestment in a community, which often precedes larger real estate projects. However, historical BuildFax research suggests intended projects are cut short when timing aligns with an economic slowdown. During the last housing crisis, abandoned construction projects replaced anticipated new housing construction. This is not necessarily indicative of trends in a future economic slowdown, but definitely a cycle we’re tracking closely."

Jonathan Kanarek, COO, BuildFax