Speaking at a National Association of Home Builders annual meeting, David Crowe, the NAHB’s chief economist, said he expects housing starts to rise 21 percent from last year’s level and sales to improve 26 percent from 2010. Crowe pointed to trends indicating growing consumer confidence, such as better-than-expected holiday sales numbers and improvements in sales of cars and furniture, as evidence that, with better job creation numbers this year, buyers will be ready to move forward. Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft is also forecasting a sales rebound in 2011. Nothaft predicts home sales will increase 10 percent this year due to more robust growth of jobs and incomes. More here, here, and here.