Builder confidence rises for mature housing market

Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market for single-family homes rose four points to 18 compared with the same period a year ago, according to a poll released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

"We are seeing increased optimism from builders in the 55+ housing segment," said NAHB chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder from Reno, Nev. "However, the market still remains weak as many people in the mature-market sector are hesitant to buy. They are concerned about selling their existing home at a fair price, due to low appraisals, an abundance of foreclosures and tighter mortgage lending criteria."

The 55+ Housing Market Index (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. All index components increased from a year ago: Present sales rose four points to 17, expected sales for the next six months increased two points to 26, and traffic of prospective buyers rose five points to 15. 

The 55+ multifamily condo HMI also showed improvement, with an index level up six points to 14. Present sales increased five points to 12, expected sales for the next six months rose three points to 17, and traffic of prospective buyers increased five points to 15.