WASHINGTON – Feb. 1, 2018 – Builder confidence in the single-family 55+
housing market hit at least a nine-year high in the fourth quarter of 2017– the
highest reading since the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) created
the index in 2008.
The index rose to 71 in the last three months of 2017, up 12 points from the
previous quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB)
55+ Housing Market Index (HMI).
"Builders and developers in the 55+ housing market are reporting strong
demand across the country," says Chuck Ellison, chairman of NAHB's 55+ Housing
Industry Council. "However, regulations in some parts of the country can make it
challenging to meet the demand."
There are separate 55+ HMIs for two segments of the 55+ housing market:
single-family homes and multifamily condominiums. Each 55+ HMI 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.
All three index components of the 55+ single-family HMI posted increases from
the previous quarter: Present sales posted a record high, increasing 14 points
to 79; expected sales for the next six months jumped 10 points to 73; and
traffic of prospective buyers rose seven points to 51.
The 55+ multifamily condo HMI posted a gain of three points to 54. The index
component for present sales increased four points to 59; expected sales for the
next six months rose five points to 60; and traffic of prospective buyers
remained even at 40.
Two of the four components of the 55+ multifamily rental market went up from
the third quarter: present production increased three points to 62 and expected
future production rose four points to 61. However, present demand for existing
units fell four points to 71 and future expected demand dropped nine points to
"The strong performance of the 55+ HMI at the end of 2017 is consistent with
recent increases in broader measures of the housing market, including the
NAHB/Wells Fargo HMI," says NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. "We expect
continued growth in the market for new 55+ housing in 2018 due to favorable
demographics, rising homeowner wealth and the current tight supply of existing
homes on the market."