Housing starts will slow for the remainder...

Housing starts will slow for the remainder of the decade, averaging 1.5 million units annually, according to a housing industry researcher, who told a weekend convention of home builders in Houston that the United States is slowly becoming a nation of "housing haves and housing have-nots." William Apgar, of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, said factors contributing to the slowdown include increased rental costs, declining levels of home ownership, tightened underwriting standards and higher interest rates. He said, however, the market will benefit from a surge in demand for upscale, single-family housing by married couples in the 35 to 44 age group with children, higher incomes and accumulated home equity.

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