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55-Plus Market: Builder Confidence Surges in Second Quarter

The index measuring attitudes about 55-plus communities jumped 27 points to 65, according to NAHB. The index has now returned to pre-pandemic levels.

WASHINGTON – Builder confidence in the single-family 55-plus housing market bounced back in the second quarter, jumping 27 points to 65, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI).

The 55+ HMI measures two segments of the 55-plus housing market: single-family homes and multifamily condominiums. Each segment measures builder sentiment based on a survey that asks if current sales, prospective buyer traffic and anticipated six-month sales for that market are good, fair or poor (high, average or low for traffic).

“Low supply of existing homes and low interest rates are key factors in helping the 55-plus housing market bounce-back to where it was at the beginning of the year,” says Harry Miller III, chairman of NAHB’s 55+ Housing Industry Council.

All three index components that make up the 55-plus single-family HMI posted gains in the second quarter:

  • present sales increased 24 points to 72
  • expected sales for the next six months surged 36 points to 70
  • traffic of prospective buyers rose 28 points to 46

The 55-plus multifamily condo HMI increased 18 points to 47, and all three index components that make it up also increased:

  • present sales rose 14 points to 50
  • expected sales for the next six months increased 25 points to 52
  • traffic of prospective buyers rose 25 points to 39

All four components of the 55-plus multifamily rental market also rose in the second quarter:

  • present production increased 9 points to 56
  • expected future production rose 12 points to 54
  • present demand for existing units increased 11 points to 61
  • future expected demand posted a 15-point gain to 64

“Like the broader housing market, we are seeing the 55-plus housing market return to pre-pandemic levels,” says NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “However, challenges such as rising lumber costs and availability of skilled labor will limit a more robust recovery.”

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