Monthly home maintenance costs rise over 10%

Spending on home fixes grew year-over-year in August, but remodeling was down in the same timeframe

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Inman Connect New York | January 29 - February 1, 2019

Home maintenance project spending has seen a 10.75 percent year-over-year increase from August 2017 to August 2018, according to a report from Texas-based property history and condition data provider BuildFax on Tuesday.

These findings are included in its August Housing Health Report, though BuildFax declined to release specific values of how much homeowners are spending on maintenance on average.

Previously, Inman reported that homeowners on average, spend $2,000 per year on maintenance, which includes landscaping, housekeeping and plumbing services, according to personal finance site Bankrate.com.

BuildFax also determined that existing home renovation spending fell slightly. The annual rate of remodeling volume went down 1.39 percent, and spending decreased 10.34 percent when comparing August 2017 to 2018. But the larger picture is still promising.

“While our August BuildFax Housing Health Report demonstrated a decrease in the year-over-year rate of remodel spend, this is a result of the inherent volatility of this category. Remodels are in fact up 30 percent in the past five years. Additionally, from January to August of 2018, remodel spending increased 5 percent compared to the same time period last year” said BuildFax COO Jonathan Kanarek in a follow up email.

Remodeling is a subset of maintenance, according to Kanarek, but the category includes projects of higher value. “It’s also one of the predominant indicators of consumer confidence – people don’t spend money on large-scale home improvement projects if they are concerned about job security,” he added.

Overall, “[t]hese trends suggest that we are still in a healthy housing market, but the rate of growth is slowing,” Kanarek was quoted as saying in the report. “BuildFax will be closely watching the data to determine if we are headed toward a plateauing of the market.”

The data in this survey is collected by examining properties across the entire country between 2013 and 2018. The results are imputed to be representative of all the U.S.

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Correction: This article originally misidentified BuildFax as a “property history and condition data provider.” We have since updated the reference.