Projected 2015 housing starts to pass 1 million units

Source: Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.

Housing starts will increase 20 percent to 1.2 million units this year, from roughly 950,000 units in 2014, PCA Chief Economist Ed Sullivan told a gathering at the 2015 International Builders’ Show, January 20-22 in Las Vegas.

Multifamily units in particular should see a significant increase in starts compared to previous years, climbing 12 percent above 2014 levels. Nearly 400,000 multifamily starts are expected in 2015, along with 800,000 new single-family units. The trend in multifamily construction is expected to persist throughout PCA’s five-year forecast horizon, as high student debt keeps the Millenials out of the new home market and Baby Boomers leave it.

“The forecast is based on sustained strength in the labor markets with more than 3 million net new jobs created in both 2015 and 2016,” said Sullivan. “In addition, wage gains in the context of sub-6 percent unemployment are expected to reinforce labor market fundamentals.”