Builders gaining confidence in 55+ multifamily condo market

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Confidence in the 55+ multifamily condominium market remained slightly below the breakeven point in the first quarter of this year, but present sales, expected sales and prospective buyer traffic all increased, according to new survey data the National Association of Home Builders.

Confidence is at 48 points on a 100-point Housing Market Index scale of how builders view conditions, with 50 points being the breakeven point. That level of 48 is a six-point increase over the previous quarter, however. Presents sales increased five points on the HMI, to 49; expected sales for the next six months increased five points to 51; and prospective buyer traffic increased eight points to 45.

In the 55+ multifamily rental market, present production rose four points to 60 on the HMI, with current demand for existing units increasing three points over the previous quarter, to 69. Future economic indicators declined, however; expected future production fell eight points to 53, and future demand decreased three points to 68.

Confidence in the single-family 55+ housing market dropped five points to 56 in the first quarter but remained above the breakeven point. The 55+ single-family HMI has been higher than 50 for eight consecutive quarters, according to the NAHB.

Two of the three subcomponents of the 55+ single-family HMI decreased from the previous quarter, the association said. Present sales decreased four points to 61, and traffic of prospective buyers dropped 14 points to 38. Expected sales for the next six months, however, increased eight points to 71, the highest level since the index was started in 2008.

Although conditions in the 55+ housing markets are positive overall, builders face challenges such as labor shortages and lot availability, according to the NAHB.

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