Housing Market Activity Continues To Plateau After Five-Year Hot Streak

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BuildFax March Housing Health Report Reveals U.S. Housing Slump Persists for the Fifth Consecutive Month

Despite this downward trend, homebuying and hail recovery activity may encourage a slight uptick across housing indicators in the coming months


Summary of key insights:

  • March 2019 showed a YoY single-family housing authorization decrease of 8.39%  — decreasing 2.56% from February 2019.
    • March data aligns with an assessment from the Federal Reserve who warns the economy is slowing faster than anticipated.
  • Maintenance volume showed a YoY decrease of 5.07% and remodel volume showed a YoY decrease of 9.76% — marking the fifth consecutive month of both declining.
  • Only eight states saw increased maintenance activity in March.
    • The top five states that saw the highest YoY increases in this month’s maintenance volumes: New Mexico (11.30%), New York (11.07%), North Carolina (7.54%), Ohio (6.53%) and Colorado (5.93%).
  • The analysis of five severe hail storms from the past three years in Minnesota, Colorado and Texas has shown the average recovery time for major systems to be 5.4 months.
    • Notably, roof maintenance increased 246.92% in the first three months following the average hail storm compared to the year prior.

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The BuildFax Housing Health Report revealed the fifth consecutive month of decreases across single-family housing authorizations, maintenance and remodel volumes on a national level in March 2019. However, heading into spring home buying season, steady interest rate activity could buoy the housing market over the next quarter. The report, which leverages U.S. property condition and history data to deliver macro- and microeconomic trends, also explored the projected impacts of hail season on the housing stock.


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Housing Supply by Volume

  • Single-family housing authorizations decreased by 8.39 percent year over year.
  • Existing housing maintenance volume decreased by 5.07 percent year over year.
  • Existing housing remodel volume decreased by 9.76 percent year over year.

“The downward trend in housing activity has led to increased focus on the sector,” said BuildFax COO Jonathan Kanarek. “In March, the Fed signaled no additional rate increases in 2019, which could boost investment in the housing market. The announcement is good news for consumers heading into the spring homebuying season. We may see some relief across maintenance and remodeling indicators, as home sales typically facilitate investment into the existing housing stock.”

Despite the housing slump, some states see increased maintenance activity. This is particularly notable in hail-and hurricane-prone states, where rebuilding activity persists. The report also includes a special focus on severe hail storms recovery trends. Hail season, which typically begins in March and continues through the summer in the Midwest and Texas, results in substantial increases in property repairs. BuildFax analyzed five severe hail storms over the past three years in Minnesota, Colorado and Texas.

Our analysis shows:

  • The average recovery of impacted major systems following these hail storms lasts 5.4 months.
  • On a national level, roof maintenance increased 246.92 percent in the first three months following hail storm compared to the year prior.
  • Roof and mechanical systems experience the most significant damage following hail events.

Repair activity following this year’s hail season could be another key driver of increased property maintenance activity during the next few months. In hail-impacted areas, homeowners risk repeated property damage, but insight into property change and risk conditions enables carriers to accurately estimate claims pay outs and resolution.

For more trends affecting the U.S. housing market, access the full report here. To learn more about BuildFax, visit www.buildfax.com.


BuildFax, headquartered in Austin, Texas, is trusted by the largest insurance and financial institutions in the world to deliver business-critical property condition and history data. With the only database of its kind encompassing more than 23 billion data points on commercial and residential structures, BuildFax delivers detailed data on remodeling, solar installations, new construction, roof age, major systems, maintenance history and more. To learn more about BuildFax, visit www.buildfax.com.

METHODOLOGY: BuildFax conducted this study by examining properties in the U.S. between the years 2013 and 2019. Data only includes properties located within permitting authorities with 100 percent coverage during the above time frame. All percentage increase and decrease statistics leverage the same data set across time. Due to historical revisions made by permitting authorities, the data is subject to change. Estimates are as of April 8, 2019.

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