HOUSTON (RealtyNewsReport.com) – Houston led the nation in single-family home starts last year with a significant lead over the No. 2 market, Dallas, according to Metrostudy, a housing consulting firm.

With job growth in full force, Houston area home builders accounted for more than 28,300 housing starts in 2013. Houston was followed by Dallas-Fort Worth then Atlanta.

David Crowe, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders, said “The energy belt metropolitan areas have done very well because their underlying economy has improved so quickly. So housing has come back strongly in most of the Texas markets, Houston in particular.”

Crowe said the key to Houston’s home building boom is job growth, and that trend should continue for several years. Houston added about 80,000 new jobs last year.

Rounding out the top ten for housing starts last year were Washington, Phoenix, Austin, Orlando, San Antonio, Miami and Charlotte, N.C.