On Monday, Buildfax released its housing Health Report for February 2019. The report covers multiple aspects of the housing market, and February’s report revealed the fourth consecutive month of decreases across several key indicators of housing market health.
“There have been persistent declines across key housing indicators for four consecutive months,” said Holly Tachovsky, CEO at BuildFax. “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.”
According to the report, new construction is down overall: single-family housing authorizations decreased 4.24 percent from January 2019 to February 2019 and 5.75 percent year over year. Meanwhile, remodels are down as well. The report states that existing housing maintenance volume decreased by 5.53 percent year over year, while the remodel volume decreased by 10.07 percent year over year.
By city, the 10 largest metro areas have all experienced some growth in housing activity the past five years, though only four of the top 10 have maintained that growth in the past few months. Dallas, New York City, Washington D.C. and Chicago all saw growth across maintenance and new construction indicators, while other large metro areas fell behind.
“In the past five years, the 10 largest metros have closely mirrored national trends, rising steadily. However, in recent months, we’ve seen a shift in this pattern,” said Tachovsky “Four major metros are seeing strong housing activity despite national declines. If economic instability increases over the next few years, as some reports suggest, areas that are growing in spite of these trends will become progressively starker over time.”
The complete report from Buildfax can be found here.