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Pandemic Spurs Rise in Home Remodeling

Americans are spending a considerable more amount of time at home over the past year due to the pandemic and adapting to this new norm, increasingly renovating their living spaces accordingly. Buildfax’s latest Housing Health Report has found that as more time is spent at home, homeowners have turned to exterior home renovations, including secondary structures, solar panels, decking, and pools.

Buildfax found that single-family housing authorizations increased 9.08% year-over-year and 2.57% month-over-month in February 2021. Meanwhile, the trailing three-month outlook (December 2020-February 2021) increased 10.98%—the sixth-consecutive month of upward activity.

Much of the nation’s workforce has adapted to a remote work situation, with more time spent at home and many seeking larger and more spacious homes. More time at home has resulted in the construction of pools, secondary structures, solar panels, and decking amid the pandemic. The highest year-over-year growth was seen in the construction of pools, with 35.39% growth over 2020, as secondary structures to accommodate things like home offices experiencing 24.39% year-over-year growth.

“As we approached one year since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw some clear trends emerging related to homeowner behaviors that may be here to stay," said Jonathan Kanarek, Managing Director of BuildFax. "Increasingly, homeowners have turned to projects outside of the home, as they look to improve or expand their livable spaces—like installing a pool or backyard office space. These projects reflect shifts in how Americans use their homes following adjustments to remote work and less travel amid the pandemic. As a whole, investment in the existing housing stock has seen remarkable growth, as Americans continue to spend time at home and prioritize home improvements, rather than re-enter the competitive housing market.”

More time at home has also resulted in increased energy costs, as homeowners have turned their attention to energy efficiency and cost-cutting measures, with the installation of solar panels seeing a year-over-year rise of 14.62% over 2020.

Click here to access Buildfax’s February 2021 Housing Health Report.

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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