COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – Dr. Mark Dotzour feels more bullish about the national economy this year than he has in the last five years. And with good reason.

“Real estate construction is growing again finally. There are more people at work. We’ve got five years of pent-up demand [for housing and commercial properties]. And, very importantly, Americans have credit capacity again,” said the Real Estate Center’s chief economist.

In a new video available on the Center’s website, Dotzour says the most significant change he sees going forward in 2013 is that residential housing markets in most of the country are stabilizing.

“For years, people have been talking about how the housing market is a headwind against economic recovery,” he said.

That headwind is turning into a tailwind that Dotzour said will increase economic activity rather than slow it.

“I’m anticipating we’re going to have more housing starts in 2013 than we did last year,” he said.

“Increase in housing will create increase in demand for commercial real estate, specifically warehouse, flex industrial and suburban office space.”

However, Dotzour said some of the starts will still be constrained by labor shortage, mortgage loan underwriting and a further increase in construction costs.