The experts at BuildFax, a leading provider of property condition and history data for insurance and financial institutions, recently released its report covering housing activity for the month of October. According to the report, housing activity is still on the rise. However, the rate of growth of this activity has slowed a bit from September’s numbers.
Specifically, BuildFax data showed that the number of single-family housing authorizations during the month of October rose (increasing 2.24% year over year and 3.72% month over month) yet did not experience as much growth from the month prior (September authorizations rose 6.09% year over year).
The report revealed that while the economy may be recovering since taking a hit due to the pandemic, thus driving new construction forward, homebuyer demand may have reached its peak. This belief is fueled by the fact that data showed October’s mortgage applications remaining flat essentially flat overall.
Some experts predict that this slowing of housing activity could continue as we approach and enter the winter months, with many of the professionals pointing to how the housing market will be affected by the recent conflicting news regarding the coronavirus vaccine.
As for maintenance and remodeling activity, it remained robust, a healthy showing that experts credit much to the current historically low mortgage rates currently being enjoyed, as well as a strong housing demand coupled with tight supply.
Specifically, maintenance volume rose (5.23% year over year) during October. The spending, however, stayed somewhat static (dipping a mere 0.05% year over year). Regarding remodels (which included in its criteria covers things like home renovations, additions, and alterations), this niche experienced an uptick in the volume of 4.59% and a rise in spending of 2.48% (both year over year).
Jonathan Kanarek, Managing Director at BuildFax, summed up the report and offered the next steps for the future: “Housing activity remains strong in October spurred by historically low mortgage rates and strong demand. However, this trend may begin to slow—as seen with new construction this month. The recent announcement of a vaccine candidate against COVID-19 has shown conflicting signals within housing stocks. We’re closely monitoring how the news could impact a potential reversal in mortgage rates and homebuilder trends.”