55+ buyers came out in force in Q3 – NAHB

Boosted builder confidence has driven a surge in sales growth at 55+ communities

55+ buyers came out in force in Q3 – NAHB

Builder confidence in the single-family 55+ housing market set a new record in the third quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB).

NAHB's 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) achieved a new all-time high of 83 – an 18-point jump from Q2.

"We saw 55+ buyers come out in force in the third quarter of this year, driving strong growth in sales at 55+ communities," said Harry Miller III, chairman of NAHB's 55+ Housing Industry Council. "However, shortages of key building materials are contributing to affordability concerns and delayed construction schedules, although recent declines in lumber prices offer good news."

All three index components of the 55+ single-family HMI experienced gains in the third quarter and were all-time highs: present sales rose 16 points to 88, expected sales for the next six months climbed 20 points to 90 and traffic of prospective buyers grew 23 points to 69.

Sales for the 55+ multifamily condo HMI also reached their highest level in Q3, up 20 points to 67. All three index components also posted quarter-over-quarter gains: present sales shot up 20 points to 70, expected sales for the next six months jumped 15 points to 67, and traffic of prospective buyers increased 24 points to 63.

All four components of the 55+ multifamily rental market went up in the third quarter: present production up six points to 62, expected future production up seven points to 61, present demand for existing units up 15 points to 76, and future expected demand up seven points to 71.

"Like the broader housing market, low-interest rates and the importance of home are helping to lift market sentiment," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. "The rebound in the stock market has also contributed to the demand for the 55+ housing market."