The U.S. Commerce Department released the home-construction report.

U.S. home construction is up 4.4% in December.

The New York Times reports that home construction rose 8.8% in the South, 5.8% in the West and 12.5% in the Northeast and declined 13.3% in the Midwest.

Fox Business reports that many private economists believe that 2015 will be a good year for housing. Macroeconomic Advisers projects that,

“Builders will break ground on 1.2 million new homes and apartments this year with activity strengthening even further in 2016 to 1.49 million homes constructed and 1.61 million in 2017.”

Bloomberg points to an almost seven-year high in single family home construction projects as a positive indicator.

However, MarketWatch cautions that this data is often revised and given the current crash in the price of oil, one must wonder if “oil production” states will suffer. But the article does offer this positive outlook,

“Executives at major U.S. home builders said last week that they are hopeful about sales given the economic factors working in their favor — pent-up demand and a strengthening labor market are expected to translate into more deals. In addition, as landlords crank up rents, more renting households may turn into buyers. And the lending environment is poised for growth. Mortgage rates are low, and the federal government is trying to deepen the pool of applicants who can obtain loans.”