The BuildFax Housing Health Report revealed that despite the slowdown in housing activity this year, maintenance activity, driven by roof repairs, saw a year-over-year uptick in July. Year over year, national roof maintenance activity rose 15.97% – reaching its highest levels since 2013, followed by 2017’s Hurricane Irma. While one month of increasing maintenance activity is not a trend, this may indicate a shift in consumer confidence and a potential stabilizing of the U.S. housing stock.
In contrast to 2018’s rapid new housing growth, single-family housing authorizations continue to decline steadily year over year. The report, which leverages U.S. property condition and history data to deliver macro- and microeconomic trends, also includes a deep dive on roof maintenance activity, which is a primary driver for elevated maintenance this month. This spike in roof repairs is likely due to severe weather conditions in 2019.
Housing Supply by Volume
- Single-family housing authorizations declined 4.18% year over year.
- Existing housing maintenance volume increased by 2.36% year over year.
- Existing housing remodel volume increased by 4.30% year over year.
“2019 housing activity has seen several months of significant declines across the existing housing supply,” said BuildFax COO Jonathan Kanarek. “However, since April, declining maintenance and remodel activity has slowed. While one month of increasing activity is not a trend, it may signify the start of a stabilizing in the housing stock. This is the leveling off we expected to see after almost five years of white-hot growth. It’s still early, but if existing housing activity maintains its current pace, that’s a positive sign for the stability and health of the U.S. housing stock.”
Roof Maintenance Spurs Increases in Existing Housing Activity
There are four systems vital to a structure’s risk: roof, electrical, mechanical and plumbing. In July, national roof maintenance activity rose 15.97% year over year and spend rose 23.48%. Month over month, roof maintenance activity increased 17.87%. The primary driver for this uptick in roof maintenance volumes is likely 2019’s heightened weather activity. Notably, a good portion of the roof maintenance activity was concentrated in the Midwest and Southeast U.S., where severe hail storms and flooding occurred this spring.