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Builder Confidence Hits Record High for 55-Plus Market

Builder confidence in the single-family 55-plus housing market continued to strengthen in the first quarter of 2019. 30% of Flagler County residents are 65 or older.

By Toby Tobin

WASHINGTON – May 6, 2019 – Builder confidence in the single-family 55-plus housing market continued to strengthen in the first quarter of 2019 with a reading of 72 – a six-point increase from the previous quarter, and the highest reading since the inception of the index in 2008.

The National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) 55-plus Housing Market Index (HMI) measures two segments of the 55-plus housing market: single-family homes and multifamily condominiums. Each segment of the 55-plus 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).

"Overall, demand for homes in 55-plus communities remains strong as more buyers and renters in that market search for simpler living arrangements," says Karen Schroeder, chair of NAHB's 55-plus Housing Industry Council. "However, there are still headwinds impacting the market, such as rising construction costs and a lack of skilled labor."

Single-family
All three index components of the 55-plus single-family HMI posted increases from the previous quarter: Present sales rose four points to 76, expected sales for the next six months increased seven points to 77 and traffic of prospective buyers climbed eight points to 61.

Condos
The 55-plus multifamily condo HMI posted a gain of 10 points to 57. All three index components posted increases from the previous quarter: Present sales increased seven points to 58, expected sales for the next six months rose 13 points to 62 and traffic of prospective buyers jumped 14 points to 52.

Rentals
Two of the four components of the 55-plus multifamily rental market went up from the fourth quarter: Future expected production increased four points to 58 and future expected demand inched up one point to 63. Present production dropped two points to 58 and the present demand for existing units fell six points to 61.

"Favorable demographics and recent declines in mortgage rates have helped support demand for 55-plus housing," says NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. "We expect continued growth in the 55-plus housing market, provided builders are able to manage the challenges of regulatory, land acquisition and construction costs."

© 2019 Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.


Toby Tobin: REALTOR®, SRES®

I'm a Florida licensed REALTOR®, SRES®, affiliated with Grand Living Realty in Palm Coast, Fla. As a real estate consultant and journalist, I have years of experience and a treasure trove of relevant data. I help developers, builders, homebuyers, and sellers achieve improved outcomes with reduced stress, knowing that their real estate decisions are sound and fact-based.

Call me at (386) 931-7124 or email me at Toby@GoToby.com.

Listen to my radio show, Real Estate Mattersevery Saturday morning right after the 11:00 A.M. news break on WNZF News Radio 1550 AM or 94.9 FM. Download the Flagler Radio App from the App Store so you can hear Real Estate Matters anywhere in the world.

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Don "Toby" Tobin is a licensed real estate professional affiliated with Grand Living Realty. Toby is a member of the Flagler County Association of Realtors®, the Florida Association of Realtors, Enterprise Flagler, Flagler Home Builders Association, and the National Association of Realtors.

GoToby.com proivdes real estate news, commentary, and analysis for Palm Coast and Flagler Country Florida, as well as Realtor® referrals and consultation to buyers, sellers, and developers.