Speaking at an economic conference in Washington, Shaun Donovan, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said the housing market has turned a corner. Donovan cited sales statistics, the number of signed contracts, and the decreasing number of households falling into foreclosure as evidence that the market has made progress over the past few years. Donovan’s remarks echo the increasingly positive forecasts being released by industry insiders and market analysts. For example, Fitch Ratings’ most recent outlook says housing starts should see a 10 percent increase in 2012, with new home sales up 8.0 percent. And Capital Economics’ Paul Diggle expects housing to become a boost to economic growth in the near future. More here, here, and here.