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HOUSTON ( – Here’s something to think about: According to housing consultant John Burns of California, Houston had more new-home starts last year than the entire Golden State.

Not only that, but Houston has more new-home construction than any other U.S. city. And Burns said the city will continue to be the nation’s top spot for building for a long time.

Burns was in town this week speaking at the Urban Land Institute’s Suburban Marketplace conference. Here are some more highlights from his talk:

Area new-home prices are at an all-time high. With the economy strong and the supply of new homes very tight, home prices will continue to go up, probably about 5 percent this year and 4 percent next year.
Local builders could build and sell 50,000 new homes this year, but a shortage of labor and quality lots is suppressing the local construction industry.
New-home starts will increase about 13 percent annually over the next three years, peaking at 50,000 starts in 2016.
City employment rate will continue to rise, boosted by the energy and healthcare industries. The region will top out at 100,000 new jobs added in 2016.
Only 15 percent of apartment residents today say they are leaving because they are buying a house. That’s down from 25 percent when the starter-home market was at its peak a few years ago.

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