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Tight Credit, Weak Consumer Confidence Likely To Blunt Home Construction

The Greater Houston Builders Association says new home construction this year will remain far short of where it should be, given the strength of Houston's recovery.

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It takes one-and-a-half to two new jobs to create one new household in Houston, according to housing economist Mike Inselmann. With Houston’s booming job market, builders ought to be putting up 32,000 single family homes a year.

But in delivering the GHBA’s annual forecast, Inselmann said he expects fewer than 28,000 such housing starts in 2013.

“Credit problems associated with the recession, restrictive mortgage underwriting, and consumer lack of confidence in the idea of home ownership are holding consumers back. They’re not buying houses at the numbers that they should.”

Consumer demand isn’t the only factor limiting new construction. Inselmann said homebuilders are also hampered by shortages of building materials, available lots, and financing.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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