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Wed November 25 2020

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Rise in US housing approvals heralds construction growth

20 Oct There has been a recent increase in authorisations for new single-family housing in the USA that will likely propel growth in construction jobs, according to new figures from BuildFax.

The provider of property condition and history data found that single-family housing authorisations increased steadily in September and that maintenance activity grew again, in part due to strong homebuying activity. The strong growth across new and existing housing activity will likely continue into autumn, it said.

Single-family housing authorisations increased 5.93% from August to September 2020 and 6.09% year over year. The increases suggest demand and homebuilder confidence remain high.

Although employment levels for new construction increased in September, they remain well below levels in the months preceding the pandemic, indicating there’s still capacity for growth, said BuildFax.

The volume of maintenance work increased 3.61% year over year in September while spending decreased 1.28%. In addition, remodels - a subset of maintenance that includes renovations, additions, and alterations - experienced increases across volume and spend at 0.28% and 1.16% year over year, respectively.

“As we anticipated, homebuying season, which typically kicks off in March, was deferred to the fall as homeowners grew increasingly accustomed to a digital-enabled homebuying process,” said BuildFax managing director Jonathan Kanarek. “Although the continued improvement of housing activity is still in part contingent on the effects of Covid-19, in the short term, housing growth has been propelled forward by low interest rates and an improving economic outlook.”

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