The market for single-family homes targeted to buyers aged 55 and up is looking better to NAHB builders surveyed for our second quarter 55+ Housing Market Index. The index, released on Aug. 8, showed continuing, strong improvement from a year ago, with a 24-point gain to 53. That’s the highest second-quarter reading since we started the index in 2008, and it marks a seventh consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvement.
All of the components of the 55+ single-family HMI showed major growth from a year ago in this year’s second quarter. The component gauging current sales rose 24 points to 54, while the component gauging expected sales in the next six months increased 25 points to 60 and the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers rose 26 points to 48.
The 55+ multifamily condo HMI also posted a substantial gain, of 24 points to 43, and also marked its highest second-quarter reading since the index was created. All 55+ multifamily condo HMI components rose from a year ago, with the index gauging present sales up 26 points to 44, the index gauging expected sales in the next six months up 26 points to 46, and the index gauging traffic of prospective buyers up 19 points to 38.
The 55+ multifamily rental indices also showed strong gains in the second quarter, with the component gauging present production rising 19 points to 50, the component gauging expected future production rising 20 points to 52, the component gauging current demand for existing units rising 20 points to 62, and the component gauging future demand rising 21 points to 63.
Read more about the 55+ Housing Market Index at NAHB.org by clicking here.
Despite popular belief, a recent analysis of government data by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reveals that the geographic distribution of households headed by someone age 55 or older is fairly even across most of the country, with more than 30 percent of all households in every state meeting this description. The study sheds valuable light on a key statistic for housing demand among active adults, as NAHB’s long-term forecast indicates that the share of 55+ households will grow every year through 2019, when the 55+ category will account for nearly 45 percent of all U.S. households.
“As more baby boomers approach retirement and the average age of the U.S. population increases, many businesses—including home builders—are showing increased interest in designing products that appeal to customers 55 and older,” said Paul Emrath, NAHB’s vice president of survey and housing policy research. “This research shows that 55+ developments should be possible in every state where population density is sufficient to support new communities of a size that can provide a variety of attractive amenities.”
The data show 43.9 million households are headed by someone 55 years old or higher, accounting for nearly 38 percent of all U.S. households. Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the share of households ranges from 31 to 45 percent. West Virginia tops all states, with 45 percent of its households headed by someone 55 or older, followed by Florida at 44 percent, Hawaii and Maine (each at 43 percent) and Pennsylvania and Montana (at 42 percent). At the other end of the scale, Utah and Alaska are the only states where less than one-third of the households are 55+.
For 97 percent of all 3,143 counties, the share of households age 55 or older is more than 30 percent. At the high end, 44 counties have a 55+ household share of over 60 percent. Mineral County, Colo., and Sumter County, Fla., are the highest ranked counties in the U.S. with 77 percent of their households headed by someone 55 or older. Sierra County, N.M., follows closely behind at 74 percent, while both Esmeralda County, Nev., and Wheeler County, Ore., come in at 71 percent each.
“The demographic that 55+ builders and developers are focused on is the largest growing group of buyers that we have ever seen in this age group, and it continues to grow,” said NAHB 50+ Housing Council Chairman W. Don Whyte. “It is also a group that is radically different from what it was only a few years ago. The customers are fitter, more computer savvy and plan to live an entirely different lifestyle from what they might have thought previously, or what we would have aimed at providing for them. Builders and developers in the 55+ housing industry have a unique opportunity to create communities that address the specific needs of the baby boomer population.”
View NAHB’s full analysis on 55+ households here.
Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market for single-family homes had a significant increase in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period a year ago, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. The index increased 10 points to 27, and although 27 is relatively low for an index that lies on a scale of 0 to 100, it is nevertheless the highest reading since the inception of the index in 2008.
“We continue to see increased optimism from builders and developers in the 55+ housing segment,” said NAHB 50+ Housing Council Chairman W. Don Whyte. “We are servicing the largest growing group of buyers that we have ever seen in this age category, and it is a population that is dramatically different from what it was only a few years ago. This creates an opportunity for builders and developers in this market to create communities that address the specific needs of the 55+ consumer.”
The 55+ single-family HMI measures builder sentiment based on a survey that asks if current sales, prospective buyer traffic and anticipated six-month sales for that market are good, fair or poor (high, average or low for traffic). An index number below 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as poor than good. All index components remain well below 50, but increased considerably from a year ago, each reaching an all-time high: Present sales rose 12 points to 27, expected sales for the next six months increased eight points to 32 and traffic of prospective buyers rose nine points to 26.
The 55+ multifamily condo HMI remains the weakest of the 55+ housing market indices, but also recorded an all-time high at 15, up seven points from a year ago. All index components showed an increase compared to a year ago: Present sales rose five points to 14, expected sales for the next six months increased seven points to 20 and traffic of prospective buyers jumped nine points to 15.
The 55+ multifamily rentals continue to lead the way in the overall 55+ housing market. Present production climbed 11 points to 31, expected future production increased eight points to 35, current demand for existing units rose three points to 42 and expected future demand increased one point to 45.
“Like the overall single-family housing market, the 55+ housing segment is facing a slow but steady recovery,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Consumers are starting to see the resale market show some improvement, which allows them to start thinking about moving into 55+ housing.”