Improved Builder Confidence in the 55+ Housing Market
Aug 22, 2012
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Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market for single-family homes showed improvement in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the second quarter of 2011, according to the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) latest 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI). The index more than doubled year over year from a level of 13 to 29, which is the highest second-quarter reading since the index began in 2008.

"Builders and developers in the 55+ housing segment continue to show increased confidence in the market," said NAHB 50+ Housing Council Chairman W. Don Whyte. "As the share of 55+ households continues to grow in all regions across the country, we have a unique opportunity to create communities that address specific needs of the mature homebuyer."

Although all index components remain below 50, they increased considerably from a year ago:
* present sales more than doubled, from 12 to 30
* expected sales for the next six months increased 17 points to 35
* traffic of prospective buyers rose nine points to 22

The 55+ multifamily condo HMI remains the weakest of the 55+ housing market indices, but this index increased 11 points to 19, also the highest second-quarter reading since the survey began. All index components showed an increase compared to a year ago. Present sales were up 10 points to 18, expected sales for the next six months were up 10 points to 20, and traffic of prospective buyers was up 12 points to 19.

The 55+ multifamily rental indices recovered last year and now holding steady. Present production was up three points to 31, expected future production was up three points to 32, current demand for existing units was down one point to 42, and expected future demand was down two points to 42.

"We are seeing buyers slowly return to the 55+ housing market as home prices begin to improve" said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "This helps unlock some of the pent-up demand from 55+ consumers who have been sitting on the sidelines until they are able to sell their current homes at a reasonable price."

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