55+ Housing Market Seeing Builder Confidence

May 12, 2012

NAHB 55+ HMI PictureOn a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 being awful and 100 being great, the number 27 doesn’t exactly exude confidence. It isn’t near the bottom, but it’s still quite a distance from the halfway point. However, as the housing industry seems to have arrived at the corner (not turned the corner, mind you) of boom and bust, any positive news should be met with optimism.

Such is the case with the recently released National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI). The index, based on a quarterly survey of NAHB members involved in the 55+ housing market, shot up 10 points in the first quarter of 2012 to 27. Not a great number, but the highest since the debut of the index in 2008.

“We continue to see increased optimism from builders and developers in the 55+ housing segment,” said NAHB 50+ Housing Council Chairman W. Don Whyte. “We are servicing the largest growing group of buyers that we have ever seen in this age category, and it is a population that is dramatically different from what it was only a few years ago. This creates an opportunity for builders and developers in this market to create communities that address the specific needs of the 55+ consumer.”

The 55+ Housing Market Index focuses on conditions in three distinct segments of the market: 55+ single-family, 55+ multifamily condo, and 55+ multifamily rental. The 55+ single-family and multifamily HMI is based on builder’s perception of current sales, expected sales six months in the future and traffic of prospective buyers. The 55+ HMI multifamily rental focuses on current production, current demand for existing rental units and expected demand six months in the future.

According to the report, the 55+ single-family HMI shows:

  • Present sales rose 12 points to 27.
  • Expected sales for the next six months increased eight points to 32.
  • Traffic of prospective buyers rose nine points to 26.

Results for the 55+ multifamily condo HMI, which remains the weakest of the three, show:

  • Present sales rose five points to 14.
  • Expected sales for the next six months increased seven points to 20.
  • Traffic of prospective buyers jumped nine points to 15.

The 55+ multifamily rentals HMI, the strongest of the categories, show:

  • Present production climbed 11 points to 31.
  • Expected future production increased eight points to 35.
  • Current demand for existing units rose three points to 42.
  • Expected future demand increased one point to 45.

“Like the overall single-family housing market, the 55+ housing segment is facing a slow but steady recovery,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Consumers are starting to see the resale market show some improvement, which allows them to start thinking about moving into 55+ housing.”

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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