U.S. Homeowners Continue to Curb Maintenance and Remodel Activity

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(Bloomberg) -- U.S. property owners are cutting back on home remodels and maintenance as prices for labor and materials increase.

Home maintenance volumes dropped 0.8% in June from the same time last year, according to property history provider BuildFax. At the same time, spending increased 6.7% due in part to the tight labor market for construction workers and increase in material costs.

On a national level, the remodel volume -- a subset of maintenance that includes renovations and alterations -- decreased 0.3% in June while spend increased 2.5%.

“So far, 2019 has revealed a dichotomy in the housing market – new and existing construction activity is declining steadily, while the spend on these projects is increasing consistently.,” BuildFax CEO Holly Tachovsky said in the report. “We expect that construction spend on the existing housing stock will eventually start declining as demand slows.”

U.S. Homeowners Continue to Curb Maintenance and Remodel Activity

The more affordable U.S. states saw the biggest uptick in maintenance spending including Colorado, Florida and Washington. This occurs while homeowners are moving away from New York, California and other affordability-strained states, the report said.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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