David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, says new-home market going at a modest pace this year.
Speaking at the 2016 International Builders' Show in Las Vegas, Crowe said, "This will be a good year for the economy and for housing. Not only is housing finally driving some of that, housing is finally moving at a much faster pace than the economy." Despite the U.S. economy's mixed track record of growth in 2015, Crowe projects that the economy will expand 2.7 percent this year, the strongest gain since before the Great Recession in 2008, as consumer spending continues to grow.
New home sales increased almost 15 percent in 2015 and construction of single family homes reached its highest point in eight years this past November. This trend is fueling part of the growth of construction hiring.
Crowe forecasts single-family home construction to reach 840,000 this year, up from a projected 711,000 last year. While not as robust as the housing boom in the early 2000's, 2016 is showing signs of steady recovery. Some growth is being slowed by the labor shortage in the subcontractor sector, a situation listed as the top concern of 75 percent of builders responding to a NAHB survey.