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Builder Confidence in 55+ Housing Down in Q3

Phil Hall
Nov 03, 2017
Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan is predicting a slowdown in U.S. economic growth for 2019, with the housing market as being among the brighter spots in what could be a challenging new year

Builder confidence in the single-family 55+ housing market frayed in the third quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI).
 
The latest HMI reading for this sector came in at 59, down from 66 in the second quarter. Dennis Cunningham, Chairman of NAHB’s 55+ Housing Industry Council and president of ActiveWest Builders in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, blamed the decline on the effects of hurricanes in the Southeast and wildfires in California.
 
“However, this is a temporary effect,” added Cunningham. “Overall confidence remains high and builders continue to be optimistic about the 55+ market in the long run.”
 
Nonetheless, the three single-family components of the 55+ HMI all recorded declines: present sales dropped from 70 to 65, sales expected in the next six months from 80 to 63, and traffic of prospective buyers from 53 to 44. The 55+ multifamily condo HMI fell from 53 to 51, but the four components of the 55+ multifamily rental market shot up from the second quarter.
 
“The decline in the 55+ single-family HMI is consistent with slight softening of other measures of single-family construction seen recently, driven by the effect of the natural disasters on top of ongoing issues with the supply of labor, lots and some building materials,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “However, market conditions on balance remain favorable, and we expect gradual continued growth in the 55+ housing sector.”

 
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