February Housing Health Report Shows Major Cities Withstanding Slump in Housing Activity
The BuildFax Housing Health Report revealed the fourth consecutive month of decreases across single-family housing authorizations, maintenance and remodel volumes on a national level in February 2019. Meanwhile, maintenance and remodel spend increased year over year, which may be attributed to recent spikes in U.S. construction labor costs. The report, which leverages U.S. property condition and history data to deliver macro- and microeconomic trends, also explored city-level housing activity, highlighting certain metro areas that diverge from national trends.
Housing Supply by Volume
- Single-family housing authorizations decreased by 5.75 percent year over year.
- Existing housing maintenance volume decreased by 5.53 percent year over year.
- Existing housing remodel volume decreased by 10.07 percent year over year.
“There have been persistent declines across key housing indicators for four consecutive months,” said BuildFax CEO Holly Tachovsky. “However, we anticipate some economic relief as we head into 2019’s spring homebuying season. Mortgage rates have reached recent lows leading to increased potential for home sales, which is oftentimes followed by a surge in remodeling activity. The performance of single-family housing authorizations, maintenance and remodeling activity through this next season will shed light on whether declines in the housing market will spread to the broader economy.”
The report delivers an in-depth analysis of the 10 largest metro areas, including New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. While the housing markets for all 10 metro areas have experienced steady growth over the past five years, in recent months, just four cities are maintaining increases in housing activity.