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 prices remaining depressed into 2009. Interest should pick up in resale housing next year, according to the report, and especially for distressed housing.

In a press conference during a builders’ conference in San Francisco in late June CBIA Chairman Raymond Becker said that 2008 "is shaping up to be the worst year since World War II for housing production in California. And frankly, at this point it does not appear that 2009 will be a whole lot better."

Sacramento, Las Vegas lead in price declines
Fifteen of 25 metro market areas tracked in a monthly home-price report had double-digit percentage declines in price per square foot in April compared to the same month last year, real estate data and analytics company Radar Logic Inc. reported today.

The Sacramento, Calif., area topped the list for price decline with a 31.7 percent year-over-year drop in the price per square foot in April, according to the RPX Monthly Housing Market Report, which is based on values of a daily price-per-square-foot index during a 28-day period in April. Las Vegas followed with a 29.9 percent decline, and San Diego had a 28.1 percent decline. Two of the 25 areas tracked in the report did not experience a year-over-year decline in the price per square foot: Charlotte, N.C., was up 1.5 percent; and Columbus, Ohio, was up 0.1 percent.

Hundreds get NAHB green certification
The National Association of Home Builders today announced that about 800 builders, real estate agents, remodelers and other building industry professionals have acquired its Certified Green Professional designation, offered through the group’s University of Housing educational division.

The designation is available for those industry participants who complete a 16-hour "Green Building for Building Professionals" class, eight hours of business management instruction, have two years of industry experience, and adhere to a code of ethics. The designation recognizes those who "incorporate green building principles into homes — without driving up the cost of construction," according to an NAHB description.

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