According to the Census Bureau, housing permits rose 8.7% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 563,000, the highest pace since December of 2008.
Single family housing permits rose 5.9% from May to June to the highest rate since October of 2008.
While these numbers are both good news, what is relevant is the context for these numbers.
Overall, housing permits are still down -52% from last year and the single family housing permits are still down -28.9% from last year. It is worth noting that 2008 was a really bad year.
In 2005 there were 1,681,200 single family building permits.
In 2006 there were 1,378,200 single family building permits.
In 2007 there were 979,900 single family building permits.
In 2008 there were 575,600 single family building permits.
In 2009 we are on pace for 430,000 single family building permits.
And you wonder why state and city municipalities are struggling from lost property tax revenue.
The systemic problem as Meredith Whitneyhas pointed out, is that we are in the middle of a homeownership bubble deflating. There are too many home for sale and not enough demand for them.