US home builders forecast continuing housing recovery

24 April 2013 22:02  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--Single-family housing starts will reach 672,000 units by the end of this year and then climb to nearly 860,000 new one-family build-outs in 2014 as the housing sector continues to recover, a US home builders organisation said on Wednesday.

In its semi-annual housing sector forecast, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said that by the end of 2014, construction of new single-family homes should reach 858,000 for the full year, or about 71% of what was considered “normal” new home construction of 1.3m units annually before the housing market crash in 2006.

In the boom housing years of 2003-2006, construction of new single-family homes topped 1.6m annually and then edged up to slightly more than 1.7m units in late 2005, according to NAHB records.

After the sub-prime mortgage crisis triggered the housing collapse and the market went into a nose-dive, construction of new single-family homes fell to only some 353,000 units on an annualised basis in the first half of 2009.

Since the US Great Recession ended in June 2009, new home construction has bounced up and down, finally beginning a more-or-less steady recovery toward the end of 2012.

NAHB chief economist David Crowe said that US single-family housing starts were at an annualised pace of around 611,000 units in the first quarter this year, or 47% of the pre-recession normal rate of some 1.3m new one-family homes being built.

He said the housing recovery is expected to continue on a steady pace through the rest of this year and into 2014, reaching around 923,000 annualised new single-family housing starts in the fourth quarter of next year.

Crowe said that household formations are on the rise and housing prices are continuing a slow but steady climb, both of which should support an ongoing housing recovery over the next 20 months.

The housing market is a key downstream consumer sector for the chemicals industry, driving demand for a wide variety of chemicals, resins and derivative products such as plastic pipe, insulation, paints and coatings, adhesives and synthetic fibres, among many others.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) estimates that each new home built represents some $15,000 (€11,550) worth of chemicals and derivatives used in the structure or in production of component materials.

($1 = €0.77)

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Joe Kamalick
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