With economic growth near 4 percent for the last half of 2014 and employment gains averaging more than 250,000 per month last year, consumer confidence is reaching pre-recession levels, according to the National Association of Home Builders chief economist.
"The signs point to a more robust year for housing," David Crowe said in a statement. "Household balance sheets are returning to normal levels, home owners’ equity is increasing and significant pent-up demand is rising. More than 7 million existing home sales were postponed or lost during the downturn; and while some are lost forever, we should see some catchup."
The NAHB is projecting 993,000 total housing starts in 2014, up 6.7 percent from last year’s total of 930,000 units.
Single-family production is expected to rise 26 percent in 2015 to 804,000 units.
"While a good beginning, this is still well below a normal level of 1.3 to 1.4 million single-family starts," Crowe said.
On the multifamily front, the NAHB is anticipating 358,000 starts in 2015, up 2 percent from 352,000 last year.
The sale of new single-family homes is expected to hit 564,000 this year, a 29.3 percent increase above last year’s 436,000 in sales.
Meanwhile, residential remodeling activity is expected to register a 3 percent gain this year over 2014.