Homebuilders See Huge 55+ Housing Potential

Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market continued to show signs of improvement in the third quarter of 2013, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) latest 55+ Housing Market Index. 

Comprising single-family homes, condominiums and multifamily rental, the 55+  housing market showed considerable growth in the single-family index, increasing 14 points to a level of 50—the highest third quarter reading since the index’s inception in 2008. 

The third quarter increase also signifies the eight consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvements in the 55+ single-family sector.

“We have seen steady improvement in the 55+ housing sector as buyers and renters are attracted to new homes and communities that offer the lifestyle they desire,” said Robert Karen, chairman of NAHB’s 50+ Housing Council and managing member of the Symphony Development Group. “Although the market is significantly stronger than it has been in recent years, we still have ways to go to get back to full production.”

The 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) measures builder sentiment based on a survey that asks if current sales, prospective buyer traffic and anticipated six-month sales for the market are good, fair or poor. An index reading above 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good rather than poor.

All components of the 55+ HMI showed growth from a year ago. Present sales climbed 16 points to a reading of 52; expected sales for the next six-months rose 11 points to a level of 53; and traffic of prospective buyers increased 10 points to 43. 

The multi-family condo index also reported third quarter growth, rising 14 points to 37, while the multi-family rental index also increased 17 points to a level of 48.

“Right now the positive year over year increase in confidence by builders for the 55+ market is tracking right along with other segments of the home building industry,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “And like other segments of the industry, the 55+ market is improving in part because consumers are more likely to be able to sell their current homes, which allows them to buy a new home or move into an apartment that suits their specific needs.”

Written by Jason Oliva

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