The forecast is looking up for Michigan as industry leaders predict the best year for the state since 2008, with projected increases in new housing starts, rising home prices and a decline in foreclosures.

Michigan is slated to witness a nearly 20% increase in new single-family housing starts in 2014 over last year, following a 30% increase in 2013 over 2012. 

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority announced the forecast at the kickoff of the 16th annual Building Michigan Communities.

"The state's housing industry is helping to spur Michigan's economic turnaround," MSHDA Executive Director Scott Woosley said.

"Consumer demand is getting stronger and consumer confidence is returning to prerecession levels. We're anticipating robust need for new housing construction throughout much of the state as we enter the building season."

The MSHDA and the Home Builders Association of Michigan Association of Realtors worked together to develop the 2014 housing industry highlights.

The highlights feature homes sales total prices to show gains in 2014, with first-quarter average sales prices this year up nearly 10% and local Realtor associations across the state reporting increases as high as 27.6%.

In addition, average prices are forecasted to carry the strong growth momentum in the past 12 months. On a year-over-year basis, these gains will range from 3% to 15.5% for Michigan.