There will be no monthly report on housing starts and building permits in January due to the government shutdown. In its place, the December BuildFax Housing Health Report found that the year-over-year rate of single-family housing authorizations, maintenance and remodeling volumes in December all decreased. This is the second consecutive month new and existing housing activity has declined.
According to the report, single-family housing authorizations decreased by 3.76% year over year, existing housing maintenance volume decreased by 10.71% year over year, and existing housing remodel volume decreased by 15.64% year over year.
The report, which leverages U.S. property condition and history data to deliver macroeconomic as well as more granular trends, also revealed that while a recession isn’t yet imminent, the probability of one occurring in the next year will increase if present conditions persist.
“The potential for an economic downturn has been highly discussed over the past few months as more signals of a recession come into alignment,” said BuildFax CEO Holly Tachovsky. “We’ve been tracking single-family housing authorizations daily for a more granular understanding of whether a decline might be on the horizon. We’ve also been monitoring interest rate activity, changes to home prices and housing supply growth to further gauge any impending shift in the economy. While this is only the second consecutive month of declining indicators, this shift is in stark contrast to the white-hot housing market that the U.S. has experienced since 2013.”