HOUSING: Over the Peak?

When the Government drastically cut civilian materials early this year, few businessmen took a gloomier view of the future than house builders. Some estimated that the industry would be lucky to put up 600,000 houses in 1952 v. 1,090,000 in 1951. But as NPA eased materials, the estimates rose. Last week, as the first day of spring officially "opened" the construction season, builders got a pleasant surprise. Housing starts were at the rate of 950,000 a year; materials were so plentiful that builders will be able to put up all the houses they can sell. The big question now...

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