The National Association of Home Builders' 55+ single-family Housing Market Index (HMI) was up 19 points on a year over year basis to 46 in the first quarter of 2013, making it the highest first-quarter index since the index was launched in 2008. The index has now seen six consecutive quarters of improvement.
"Builders and developers for the 55+ housing sector continue to report increased optimism in the market," said Robert Karen, chairman of NAHB's 50+ Housing Council and managing member of the Symphony Development Group. "We are seeing an increase in consumer demand for homes and communities that are designed to address the specific needs of the mature homebuyer."
There are separate 55+ HMIs for two segments of the 55+ housing market: single-family homes and multifamily condominiums.
All components of the 55+ single-family HMI showed significant growth from a year ago:
* the measure of present sales were up 19 points to 46
* the measure of expected sales for the next six months were up 21 points to 53
* the measure of traffic of prospective buyers rose 15 points to 41
The 55+ multifamily condo HMI saw a big gain of 23 points to 38, making it the highest first-quarter index since the index started. All 55+ multifamily condo HMI components increased from the year previous:
* the measure of present sales were up 23 points to 37
* the measure of expected sales for the next six months were up 23 points to 43
* traffic of prospective buyers rose 23 points to 38.
55+ multifamily rental indices showed strong gains in the quarter
* present production was up 12 points to 43
* expected future production rose 13 points to 48
* current demand for existing units climbed 14 points to 56 and future demand increased 13 points to 58.
NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said the increase in index confidence was consistent with increases in other segments of U.S. home building industry.
"While demand for new 55+ housing has improved due to a reduced inventory of homes on the market and low interest rates, builders' ability to respond to the demand is being limited by a shortage of labor with basic construction skills and rising prices for some building materials," he said.
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