Industry News

2008 turnaround expected for California

Single-family building permits forecast to rise 15.3% this year

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The economist for a building industry group in California reports that his "crystal ball has a slightly more optimistic scenario" for 2008 than many other forecasts, and he predicts "a modest turnaround" in the state's housing market next year. That admittedly contrarian view by Alan Nevin, chief economist for the California Building Industry Association, includes an anticipated 15.3 percent increase in single-family housing permits this year compared to 2007. The state's economy "will have a soft landing in 2008 and begin its return to normalcy by mid-2008," Nevin's 2008 forecast report states, with job gains in the 210,000-246,000 range. Anticipated population growth is a factor in the anticipated upturn. "The population this year will grow by more than 400,000 persons," the report states, and "population equals consumption." Single-family permits fell 34.4 percent in 2007 from 2006, with 70,850 single-family permits in 2007. And Nevin's forecast calls for single-family permits to ri...