WASHINGTON, DC - Builders and developers for the 55+ housing sector continue to report increased optimism in the market, said Robert Karen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders' 50+ Housing Council and managing member of the Symphony Development Group. In the first quarter of 2013, the NAHB 55+ single-family Housing Market Index (HMI) increased 19 points on a year over year basis to 46 -- the highest first-quarter number recorded since the inception of the index in 2008 and the sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvements. “We are seeing an increase in consumer demand for homes and communities that are designed to address the specific needs of the mature homebuyer,” Karen noted.
The 55+ multifamily condo HMI posted a substantial gain of 23 points to 38, which is the highest first-quarter reading since the inception of the index. All 55+ multifamily condo HMI components increased compared to a year ago as present sales rose 23 points to 37, expected sales for the next six months climbed 23 points to 43 and traffic of prospective buyers rose 23 points to 38.
"The strong year-over-year increase in confidence reported by builders for the 55+ market is consistent with year over year increases in other segments of the home building industry," added NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. While demand for new 55+ housing has improved due to a reduced inventory of homes on the market and low interest rates, builders' ability to respond to the demand is being limited by a shortage of labor with basic construction skills and rising prices for some building materials, Crowe warned.
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