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Builders Continue to Gain Confidence in 55+ Market

Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market showed ""significant improvement"" in the second quarter, the ""National Association of Home Builders"":http://www.nahb.org/default.aspx (NAHB) reported.

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NAHB's 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI)--a measure of builder confidence in that particular market sector--increased 24 points over the same period last year, rising to a level of 53, the highest second-quarter number since the inception of the index in 2008 and the seventh consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvements.

""Builders and developers for the 55+ housing sector are feeling optimistic as they are seeing more consumers return to the marketplace,"" said Robert Karen, chairman of NAHB's 50+ Housing Council and managing member of the Symphony Development Group. ""With existing home prices rising, consumers are able to sell their current homes and make the move toward either purchasing a [COLUMN_BREAK]

home or renting an apartment that is designed to more specifically suit their lifestyle.""

In the single-family market, the present sales indexed climbed 24 points to 54, the expected sales index rose 25 points to 60, and prospective buyer traffic rose 26 points to 48.

Meanwhile, the 55+ multifamily condo HMI saw a gain of 24 points to 43--again, the highest second-quarter reading in the history of the index. All HMI components increased compared to last year: Present sales rose 26 points to 44, expected sales improved 26 points to 46, and traffic of prospective buyers increased 19 points to 63.

The 55+ multifamily rental indices also showed strong signs of improvement in the second quarter. The present production index gained 19 points to rest at 50, while expected future production rose 20 points to 52. Current demand for existing units increased to 62 (a gain of 20 points), and future demand increased 21 points to 63.

""The 55+ HMI for single-family homes almost doubled from a year ago,"" said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. ""Sentiment in other segments of the 55+ market housing was strong as well. This is consistent with the increase in builder confidence we've seen in other NAHB surveys recently.

""At this point, the main challenge for builders in many parts of the country is finding enough buildable lots in desirable locations and workers with the necessary skill set to respond to the increased demand.""

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