Industry News

Economists smile on housing

Higher interest rates won't stop growth, say builders conference panelists

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Economic expansion will not be a double-edged sword for the housing industry, economic analysts agreed Wednesday during a National Association of Home Builders Construction Forecast Conference in Washington, D.C.   While they agreed that the economy is expanding solidly, with some job growth, the analysts also said that stronger levels of employment and personal income would create a good climate for housing in 2004-05, even with higher interest rates and some monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve, the NAHB announced.   NAHB economist David Seiders, experts from Standard & Poor's, J.P. Morgan Chase, Fannie Mae, Harvard University, and Crystal Ball Economics were among the featured presenters at the semiannual conference.   Per-capita income growth and gains in home ownership by minority households and lower-income groups will be among the drivers for continued strength in the housing sector, the NAHB reported.   Conference panelists noted that ...