I still run into people who refuse to believe there has been a housing recovery, and there are even those who doubt whether there's been any recovery at all in the economy. All I can say is, the numbers tell a compellingly different story. As the chart above shows, residential construction spending has increased by almost 50% in the three years ending last February. And with warmer weather we're likely to see even further gains in the months to come. If a 50% increase in activity in the span of three years doesn't count as a recovery, I don't know what does. Of course, there is still a lot of room to go before residential construction spending reaches a new high, but that doesn't change the fact that, on the margin, there has been a really impressive turnaround in residential construction spending in the past few years.
Nonresidential construction has only posted modest gains in recent years (up 15% from the early-2011 lows), but it didn't decline nearly as much as residential.