US housing industry analysts predict housing starts will increase by 34% in 2010 according to industry newsletter Random Lengths.

Starts are forecast to grow from about 555,000 units in 2009 to 697,000 – 780,000 this year.
Reasons for the projected increase include the upcoming end to the tax-credit stimulus, growing affordability, an improving economy and a turnaround in the employment market.

However wood product industry groups believe the upturn will be more modest, with the Western Wood Products Association forecasting starts of 668,000 units and APA- The Engineered Wood Association expecting to see 665,000.

All forecasters acknowledge economic risks may still hamper a recovery in the housing market.