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Builder confidence in 55+ housing market improves

Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market for single-family homes showed continued improvement in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the same period a year ago, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) latest 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) released today.

The index rose 10 points to 28, the fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvements.

“We continue to see increased optimism from builders and developers in the 55+ housing segment,” said Bob Karen, chairman of NAHB’s 50+ Housing Council and managing member of the Symphony Development Group. “Those customers who had been on the sidelines waiting for more stability in their local markets are starting to make their move toward either purchasing a home or renting an apartment that is designed to more specifically suit their lifestyle.”

There are 55+ HMIs for two segments of the 55+ housing market: single-family homes and multi-family condominiums. Each index measures builder sentiment based on a survey that asks if current sales, prospective buyer traffic and anticipated six-month sales for that market are good, fair or poor. An index below 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as poor than good. 

Present sales for the 55+ single-family HMI climbed 10 points to 27, expected sales for the next six months increased 12 points to 38 and traffic of prospective buyers rose nine points to 24.   

“Like the overall housing market, the 55+ segment of the market is undergoing a slow but steady recovery,” said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “That said, there are serious obstacles to a continued and stronger recovery. While problems with tight credit conditions for buyers and obtaining accurate appraisals are still lingering, new problems like spot shortages and rising costs for labor, materials and lots are beginning to emerge.”


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