Builders report that the single-family 55+ housing market is holding strong in the third quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI), which was released this week. The index had a reading of 59, up two points from the previous quarter and the 10th consecutive quarter with a reading above 50.

“Builders and developers for the 55+ housing sector tell us that business is solid right now and they expect that trend to continue through the rest of the year,” said Jim Chapman, chair of NAHB’s 55+ Housing Industry Council and president of Jim Chapman Homes LLC in Atlanta.

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 above 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

Two of the three index components of the 55+ single-family HMI posted an increase from the previous quarter: Present sales increased two points to 63 and traffic of prospective buyers rose five points to 47. Meanwhile, expected sales for the next six months dropped four points to 65.

The 55+ multifamily condo HMI rose one point to 48. The index component for present sales increased two points to 51, while expected sales for the next six months fell three points to 51 and traffic of prospective buyers remained even at 38.

All the four indices tracking production and demand of 55+ multifamily rentals decreased in the third quarter. Present production fell three points to 48, expected future production decreased seven points to 49, current demand for existing units dropped nine points to 59 and future demand fell eight points to 59.

“The 55+ housing market continues on a steady path toward recovery, much like the overall housing market,” said NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz. “Older homeowners are able to take advantage of low mortgage rates and rising home prices, enabling them to sell their current homes and buy or rent a home in a 55+ community.”

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