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Builder Confidence in 55+ Housing Shows Strong Increase
May 11, 2012
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Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market for single-family homes increased significantly in first quarter 2012 compared to 1Q 2011, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders' 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI).

The 55+ single-family home HMI was up 10 points to 27 - still low on a 0-to-100 scale, but still the best reading since the HMI was begun in 2008. The 55+ multifamily condo HMI was the weakest 55+ housing market index, but still was at an all-time high.

"We continue to see increased optimism from builders and developers in the 55+ housing segment," said NAHB 50+ Housing Council Chairman W. Don Whyte. "We are servicing the largest growing group of buyers that we have ever seen in this age category, and it is a population that is dramatically different from what it was only a few years ago. This creates an opportunity for builders and developers in this market to create communities that address the specific needs of the 55+ consumer."

The 55+ single-family home HMI builder sentiment report surveys builders about current sales, prospective buyer traffic, and anticipated six-month sales. All index components increased considerably from a year ago - each reaching an all-time high:
* present sales increased 12 points to 27
* expected sales for the next six months increased 8 points to 32
* traffic of prospective buyers increased 9 points to 26

The 55+ multifamily condo HMI is the weakest 55+ housing market index but still recorded an all-time high at 15, up 7 points from a year ago. All index components were up:
* present sales increased 5 points to 14
* expected sales for the next six months increased 7 points to 20
* traffic of prospective buyers increased 9 points to 15

The 55+ multifamily rentals continue to lead the way in the overall 55+ housing market:
* Present production increased 11 points to 31
* expected future production increased eight 8 points to 35
* current demand for existing units increased 3 points to 42
* expected future demand increased 1 point to 45

"Like the overall single-family housing market, the 55+ housing segment is facing a slow but steady recovery," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "Consumers are starting to see the resale market show some improvement, which allows them to start thinking about moving into 55+ housing."

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