Slowly but surely, things are looking up. According to newly released figures from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau, nationwide housing production gained 2.6 percent in April. Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, commented “April’s increase in housing production…is an encouraging sign that we are returning to a gradual, upward trend that should continue in the year ahead as builders respond to improving demand for new homes in certain markets.” Even more encouraging were numbers for the South,
which showed an 11.6% increase. The rate is still less than half the pace one would expect in a fully healthy market, but is considered “very solid for this point of the recovery” according to NAHB economist David Crowe. The rate is also consistent with the latest builder surveys that show modest improvements in buyer traffic. Permit issuance,
which can indicate future building activity, also rose 1.9 percent for single-family homes in April. While still a slow growth, the rise in housing production is nonetheless good news for the construction industry and the nation as a whole, as it points to better times ahead.