Homebuilder Confidence Plummets For Broader Market and 55+ Segment

The latest data released by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) shows that builder confidence for both newly constructed single family homes and the 55+ market segments continues to be weak.  The NAHB Housing Market Index (HMI) for the broader market decreased to its lowest level since March 2009 and the mature-market housing index for Q2 2010 dropped for all areas surveyed compared to the previous year’s second quarter.

“Builders are expressing the same concerns that they are hearing from consumers right now, particularly the sense that the overall economy and job market aren’t gaining any traction,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones, a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Meanwhile, many continue to report that problems with inaccurate appraisals, competition from the large number of distressed properties on the market, and tight consumer lending conditions are causing them to lose potential sales.”

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The 55+ single-family HMI statistics indicate that more respondents see some strength in rental demand compared to the number who see any growth in production of new rental apartments to support that demand.  The 55+ multifamily condo index continued to record the lowest values, with a drop from the previous year’s second quarter, reflecting decreases in current sales, expected sales, and traffic from prospective buyers.

"The same factors that affect activity in the overall housing market – including hesitant home buyers, tight consumer credit, and continuing competition from foreclosed and distressed properties – are having an impact on the 55+ segment of the market, which remains stalled in most regions," says NAHB’s Chief Economist, David Crowe. "In spite of the recent flurry of home-buying activity tied to the home buyer tax credit, many older homeowners continue to have difficulty selling their existing homes, causing them to postpone plans to look for a home that offers reduced maintenance or is otherwise more appropriately designed to accommodate their current lifestyles."

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