The decline in December housing starts announced recently is “disappointing but surely not lasting,” reports Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Yun noted that new home construction still ended 2017 as the best year since 2007 with 1.2 million units. Single-family housing starts in December were 836,000 units, nearly 12 percent below the November figure, according to the U. S. Department of Commerce. “Given that both new and existing homes sold briskly throughout last year and at notably higher prices, housing starts should easily surpass 1.3 million in 2018,” Yun said. The much needed additional inventory will help “calm price appreciation. That would be a good trend for housing affordability, especially in a likely higher mortgage rate environment later this year,” he continued.