Industry News

California builders expect return to ‘normal market’ in ’07

Forecast calls for 'soft to stable' home prices

The chief economist for the California Building Industry Association trade group expects housing starts for single-family homes, condominiums and apartments to range from 155,000-170,000 units this year, which could be about the same or slightly lower than in 2006, the group announced this week. Single-family housing starts in 2007 should range from 110,000-120,000 units, Nevin also stated, compared with about 110,000 single-family housing starts in 2006, and multifamily construction starts are expected to range from 45,000-55,000 units, compared with 58,000 in 2006. "Keep this year's forecast in perspective -- we are returning to a normal market," Nevin stated. "Producing 155,000 to 170,000 units will be more than any year from 1991 to 2001 and could exceed production levels from 1990 and 2002 as well." Nevin said he expects production to be especially low in first-quarter 2007 as builders finish selling excess inventory, and he expects construction to pick up later in the year....