May housing starts dipped from an upwardly-revised April level, but as this first chart shows, starts are up a solid 30% since early last year. Compared to their recession lows, starts are up 48%. This is almost irrefutable evidence that the residential construction industry is on the rebound, after suffering the six worst years of its existence.
This chart shows an index of homebuilders sentiment, and it too clearly shows a rebound from recession-era lows. Conditions are still miserable, to be sure, but they have definitely improved.
Finally, this chart of the stocks of 18 leading homebuilders also shows that there has been a distinct improvement from the recession lows.
The industry can now look forward to many years of continuing gains, as homebuilding will eventually have to catch up with the ongoing growth in home formations, and what could prove to be widespread shortages of housing. Already there is anecdotal evidence of a lack of homes for sale in some areas of the country, and even reports of bidding wars.
With everything pointing to better times ahead for the housing market, and with mortgage rates at rock-bottom, historical lows, today's conditions represent a homebuyer's dream.