Builder Confidence in the 55+ Housing Market Ends Year on a Positive Note
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' latest 55+ Housing Market Index.
Washington, D.C.—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 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.
The 55+ multifamily condo HMI still remains the weakest segment of the 55+ housing marketing, but did post an increase of six points to 19. All 55+ multifamily HMI components increased compared to a year ago as present sales rose five points to 17, expected sales for the next six months climbed eight points to 25 and traffic of prospective buyers rose six points to 21.
Meanwhile, the 55+ multifamily rental indices, which had already recovered substantially in 2011, remained relatively stable in the fourth quarter, although there was a slight pullback due to uncertainty about the low-income housing tax credit–the financial driver behind a significant portion of apartments built for this segment of the market. Present production dropped three points to 31, expected future production dipped one point to 34, current demand for existing units dropped four points to 38 and expected future demand fell five points to 39.