Builders Show Confidence in 55+ Market

February 8th, 2013 by DWM Magazine
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Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market for single-family homes showed continued improvement in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the same period a year ago, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) latest 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI). The index increased 10 points to a level of 28, the fifth consecutive quarter of year over year improvements.

There are separate 55+ HMIs for two segments of the 55+ housing market: single-family homes and multifamily condominiums. Each 55+ HMI 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 (high, average or low for traffic). An index number below 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as poor rather than good.

Although all components of the 55+ single-family HMI remain below 50, they have improved significantly from a year ago: present sales 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,” says 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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