Housing Starts Continue Slow Progress Off The Bottom

From today’s data, it appears that a slow recovery in new construction is still on track (see first figure below). Single-family starts and total permitting activity looked even better. In the chart below, you can really see the pronounced effect of the Federal homebuyer tax credits which goosed the numbers in the first two quarters of 2010.

At the risk of depressing folks though, the second figure below shows just how far off we are from prior levels of housing starts. At least we’re moving in the right direction though.