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18 LC DBM Total existing-home sales expanded by 3.3% in January, the fastest pace in almost a decade, the National Association of Realtors reported. All regions posted sales gains, with the exception of the Midwest. The NAHB predicts single- family production will rise 10% in 2017, and another 12% in 2018. Multifamily starts should hold steady, and residential remodeling is expected to gain 1.0% this year. Existing home sales rose 3.3% in the fourth quarter, compared to the third quarter, the best quarterly sales pace of 2016, the National Association of Realtors said. Sales were +7.1% versus the fourth quarter of 2015. Sales of new single-family homes in 2016 increased to the highest annual rate since 2007, rising 12.2%, the National Association of Home Builders said, citing data from the Census Bureau. TOPStories REGIONALReport All regions of the nation saw increases in single- family starts, permits and completions in January versus December, Census Bureau data shows. However, the West was –18.6%, –17.2% in permits, and –18.5%, respectively, in each of those categories. All regions of the nation, except for the Midwest (–1.5%), posted month-over-month hikes in January: Northeast, +5.3%; South, +3.6%; West, +6.6%. Zillow predicts Nashville, Tenn., will be the hottest housing market in 2017. Rounding out the top 10: (in order) Seattle; Provo, Utah; Orlando, Fla.; Salt Lake City; Portland, Ore.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Ogden, Utah; Denver; and Sacramento, Calif. Eight of the top 10 major metros posted double-digit gains in commercial-multifamily starts in 2016 versus the prior year, Dodge Data and Analytics said. San Francisco topped the list at +96%, followed by Atlanta; Boston; Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Dallas; and Miami. News In U.S. News and World Report's 2017 ranking of the best cities to call home, Austin, Texas, is number one; followed by Denver; San Jose, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; and Fayetteville, Ark. Its ranking is based on quality of life, job markets and other factors. ATTOM Data Solutions studied 8,642 ZIP code regions for air quality, pollutants, brownfield and superfund sites, and found 2,403 have at least one high or very high risk factor. Some 17.3 million single-family homes and condos valued at $4.9 trillion are in those regions. ETC. 3.7%: How much existing single-family home sales grew in January on a year- over-year basis. 40%: How much single-family starts are expected to increase from 2016 to 2021, according to ConstructConnect. $1.2 trillion: The total of overall construction spending in 2017, a 6.3% increase over the previous year, according to ConstructConnect. The forecaster said spending should expand 7.2% in 2018. Anomalies (National percentages in parentheses) SINGLE-FAMILY STARTS (+1.9) West: -18.6% SINGLE-FAMILY PERMITS (-2.7) West: -17.2% COMBINED PERMITS (+8.2) Northeast: +71.3% Month-Over-Month Year-Over-Year COMBINED PERMITS (+4.6) Northeast: +29.6% West: -13.2% SINGLE FAMILY COMPLETIONS (+4.3) Northeast: +34.0% West: -18.5% COMBINED COMPLETIONS (-0.9) West: -29.5% SINGLE-FAMILY COMPLETIONS (+15.8) West: 0.0% COMBINED STARTS (-2.6) Northeast: +55.4% West: -41.3% COMBINED STARTS (+10.5) West: -8.5% Midwest: +21.3% NOTABLE Numbers