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A strengthening labor market, low interest rates, improving mortgage availability and growing pent-up demand will help to significantly boost single-family housing production in the year ahead and move the housing recovery to higher ground, according to economists who spoke at the International Builders Show.

With economic growth near 4% for the last half of 2014 and employment gains averaging more than 250,000 per month last year, NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said these are the primary factors that have helped consumer confidence jump back to pre-recession levels.

“The signs point to a more robust year for housing,” Crowe said. “Household balance sheets are returning to normal levels, home owners’ equity is increasing and significant pent-up demand is rising. More than 7 million existing home sales were postponed or lost during the downturn; and while some are lost forever, we should see some catch-up.”

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