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Builders bearish on California

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California builders' group: Worst year for housing starts since WWII The California Building Industry Association reports that single-family housing production this year is forecast to be down 75 percent from a peak year in 2005. Total housing production, including single-family and multifamily, is projected at 72,350 units this year, with 38,250 single-family units and 34,100 multifamily units. "The downturn has caused a sharp decline in construction-related employment," the trade group reported, with an estimated loss of 181,300 jobs in the construction, finance and insurance industries. In the past year the state lost 120,300 construction-related jobs, according to the report. "The residential housing business has suffered throughout the United States, but nowhere more than in California." The volume of foreclosures "should decline substantially by the end of 2008," according to the forecast, by CBIA chief economist Alan Nevin, with pric...