WASHINGTON — Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market was markedly more upbeat in the first quarter of 2011 for apartment production and demand than for sales of single-family or condominium homes, according to a new survey released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The NAHB's expected demand index for 55+ multifamily rental units rose 10 points, to 44, from a year earlier, while the 55+ Housing Market Indices for single-family units and condos declined 2 and 3 points, down to 17 and 8, respectively.

"Builders in the 55+ market are still finding that some customers are hesitant to buy," said Ken Simons, a New Jersey developer and chair of the NAHB 50+ Housing Council Board of Trustees. "Many prospective 55+ buyers are having trouble selling their existing homes, a problem often made worse by low appraisals."

The 55+ single-family HMI measures builder sentiment based on current sales, prospective buyer traffic and anticipated six-month sales for that market. A number greater than 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor. Among the index components, present sales dropped two points, to 15. Expected sales (six months into the future) dropped six points, to 24. And traffic of prospective buyers fell one point, to 17.

Posted by Karen Koenig

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