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Builder Confidence in 55+ Housing Market Ends 2011 On Upswing
Feb 14, 2012
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In the fourth quarter of 2011, builder confidence in the 55+ housing market for single-family homes was 18 - up four points from the fourth quarter of 2010, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI).

"We are seeing increased optimism from builders in the 55+ housing segment," said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder from Reno, NV. He added, however, that many in this market are hesitant to buy, keeping the market weak. "They are concerned about selling their existing home at a fair price, due to low appraisals, an abundance of foreclosures and tighter mortgage lending criteria."

The 55+ single-family HMI measures builder sentiment based on:
* current sales
* prospective buyer traffic
* anticipated six-month sales for that market.

A number of 50 or higher means more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All index components increased in February 2012 compared to February 2010:
* present sales: up 4 points to 17
* expected sales for the next six months: up 2 points to 26
* traffic of prospective buyers: up 5 points to 15

The 55+ multifamily condo HMI also improved with the index rising six points to 14:
* present sales: up 5 points to 12
* expected sales for the next six months: up 3 points to 17
* traffic of prospective buyers: up 5 points to 15

The 55+ multifamily rentals HMI showed a significant increase across all components:
* present production: doubled to 34 points
* expected future production: up 12 points to 35
* current demand for existing units: up 14 points to 42
* expected future demand: up 12 points to 44

"As with the overall single-family housing market, we are seeing gradual, but steady, improvement in the 55+ market segment," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "A level of 18 in the 55+ HMI is the highest fourth quarter reading since inception of the index in 2008, but still a long way from a healthy housing market. Also, as with the overall multifamily rental housing sector, the 55+ rental market is showing continued strength. All of the index subcomponents are at or above their highs since index inception in 2009."

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