Housing Starts Predicted to Hit 3-Year High

Housing starts will probably reach a three-year high of 739,000 in 2001, creating about 500,000 jobs and helping trim the unemployment rate to 9.1 percent, said David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, in an interview with Bloomberg.

“This is an ugly economic cycle,” he said. “We need job creation to get people comfortable with buying a home. If they do that, we’ll create jobs that will reinforce that home buying and fuel additional job growth.”

Job growth in other sectors, as well as population growth, will also likely have an effect. The number of U.S. households will rise 0.7 percent to 118.7 million in 2011, the largest annual gain since the beginning of the housing crisis in 2007. Charles Lieberman, chief investment officer at Advisors Capital Management LLC in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., expects jobs to rise by an average of 200,000 per month in 2011.

The CEO of luxury home builder Toll Brothers is optimistic. “The recovery is here to stay,” said Douglas Yearley. “I think 2011 will be an improving year, but I think 2012 will be a big year for us.”

Source: Bloomberg, Joshua Zumbrun and Kathleen M. Howley (12/28/2010)

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