WASHINGTON -- Home builders continue to put far greater faith in multi-family housing than for single-family projects, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Housing Market Index for the 55+ market.

The HMI measures builder builder sentiment based on current sales, prospective buyer traffic and anticipated six-month sales for the 55+ market. The latest HMI index for 55+ multifamily rentals climbed 12 points to 40, while the HMI for +55 single-family homes dropped 3 points to 12. A HMI number greater than 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

Multifamily Rentals Hot, Single Home Sales Not, Says NAHB"Multifamily rental units continue to be the bright spot in the 55+ housing market," said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. "However, with demand currently running ahead of production, as it has been for several quarters now, the risk of a shortage of rental units in select markets in the future looms larger as builders continue to have trouble obtaining credit to finance new construction."

Bob Nielsen, NAHB chairman and a builder from Reno, NV, said, "The current state of the economy continues to affect buyers in the 55+ housing market. The market remains weak given the many uncertainties people face in this economy. While potential buyers exist, they are hesitant to commit to buying a new home as 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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