The National Association of Homebuilders recently released its fourth quarter 2012 data from the 55+ Housing Market Index.
Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market rose by ten points for the fifth consecutive year-over-year quarterly increase. The 55+ HMI, like the more general NAHB Housing Market Index, queries builders about anticipated six-month sales, prospective buyer traffic, and existing sales.
Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market continues to rise. Builders were most confident about single-family developments. They were least optimistic about multifamily condos for the 55+ group. NAHB attributed the multiunit rental indices’ slight decline to uncertainty about whether the low-income tax credit would continue.
NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe, noting the “slow but steady recovery” in the 55+ housing market, cautioned, “(T)here 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.”
Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market was on the agenda at NAHB’s International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas in January. Citing an increase in homeowners’ confidence in their ability to sell their existing homes, speakers predicted more baby boomers would be buying new homes designed to fit their changing lifestyles. These boomers are quite different from those of just a few years ago. They want walkability and outdoor recreation spaces as amenities of any development.