Thursday, May 09, 2013

NAHB: Builder Confidence in the 55+ Housing Market increases sharply in Q1

by Calculated Risk on 5/09/2013 02:01:00 PM

This is a quarterly index from the the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and is similar to the overall housing market index (HMI). The NAHB started this index in Q4 2008, so the readings have been very low.

From the NAHB: Builder Confidence in the 55+ Housing Market Shows Strong Growth in First Quarter

In the first quarter of 2013, the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) 55+ single-family Housing Market Index (HMI) increased 19 points on a year over year basis to 46, which is the highest first-quarter number recorded since the inception of the index in 2008 and sixth consecutive quarter of year over year improvements.
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All of the components of the 55+ single-family HMI showed significant growth from a year ago: present sales climbed 19 points to 46, expected sales for the next six months increased 21 points to 53 and traffic of prospective buyers rose 15 points to 41.

The 55+ multifamily condo HMI posted a substantial gain of 23 points to 38, which is the highest first-quarter reading since the inception of the index. All 55+ multifamily condo HMI components increased compared to a year ago as present sales rose 23 points to 37, expected sales for the next six months climbed 23 points to 43 and traffic of prospective buyers rose 23 points to 38.
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The strong year over year increase in confidence reported by builders for the 55+ market is consistent with year over year increases in other segments of the home building industry,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “While demand for new 55+ housing has improved due to a reduced inventory of homes on the market and low interest rates, builders’ ability to respond to the demand is being limited by a shortage of labor with basic construction skills and rising prices for some building materials.”
HMI and Starts Correlation Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the NAHB 55+ HMI through Q1 2013. All of the readings have been low for this index, but the trend is up. Still, any reading below 50 "indicates that more builders view conditions as poor than good."

This is going to be a key demographic for household formation over the next couple of decades, but only if the baby boomers can sell their current homes.

There are two key drivers: 1) there is a large cohort moving into the 55+ group, and 2) the homeownership rate typically increases for people in the 55 to 70 year old age group.

HMI and Starts CorrelationThe second graph shows the homeownership rate by age for 1990, 2000, and 2010. This shows that the homeownership rate usually increases until 70 years old or so.

So demographics should be favorable for the 55+ market.