Home Builder Confidence Upswing

Home builder confidence in the senior housing market, age 55 and older, rose four points to 18 compared to a year ago, according to the happy contractor National Association of Home Builders housing market index.

The 55 plus single family index measures builder sentiment based on current home sales, new home buyers’ walk-in traffic and projected home sales in the next six months. All index numbers rose compared to a year earlier.

“We are seeing increased optimism from builders in the 55 plus housing segment,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen. “However, the market still remains weak as many people in the mature-market sector are hesitant to buy. They are concerned about selling their existing home at a fair price, due to low appraisals, an abundance of foreclosures and tighter mortgage lending criteria.”

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The 55+ multi-family condo index also showed an upswing, with the index up six points to 14. Current home sales increased five points to 12, expected sales for the next six months rose three points to 17 and traffic of prospective buyers increased five points.

The senior rentals sector also showed a significant increase across all components. Present production doubled to 34 points. Future home construction production projections rose 12 points to 35, and current demand for existing units jumped 14 points to 42.

“As with the overall single family housing market, we are seeing gradual, but steady, improvement in the 55+ market segment,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “A level of 18 in the 55+ HMI is the highest fourth quarter reading since inception of the index in 2008, but still a long way from a healthy housing market.”

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