Builder sentiment regarding older-consumer housing market improves

Confidence in the 55-and-older housing market increased markedly during the first month of 2012 compared to the final month of 2011, a report by the National Association of Home Builders indicates.

Confidence in the 55-and-older housing market increased markedly during the first month of 2012 compared to the final month of 2011, a report by the National Association of Home Builders indicates.

The NAHB's 55+ Housing Market Index rose four points, reaching a level of 18. Specifically, components of the HMI that grew include present home sales, which hiked four points to 17, and expected sales for the next six months, which climbed to 26 from 24 the month before.

Though the bump up in the HMI for the older-consumer sector is some cause for optimism, NAHB chairman Bob Nielsen noted property data shows the overall housing market remains in poor shape.

"However, the market still remains weak as many people in the mature-market sector are hesitant to buy," he said. "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."

In addition to a spike in confidence in the 55+ market, overall housing sector confidence reached a four-year high in January, according to the NAHB. Mortgage rates continuing to sit at or near record lows likely impacted the sentiment among builders.



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