The year-end numbers are in, and home construction improved dramatically in 2013. Both single- and multi-family housing starts were up, by 15 and 25 percent, respectively, according to the U.S. Census. Add it all up and total housing construction rose 18 percent from 2012 to the highest level since 2007.
Now for a little perspective. Last year was the best year for single-family home construction since 2009, but that's not saying much since it also was fifth worst on record. Single-family starts came in at just under 618,000. Compare that to the height of the housing boom in 2005, when 1.7 million single-family homes were built. The historical average is right around a million, so we're barely half way back.
That perspective might make some say we still need to ramp up construction more, build more homes. The nation's home builders would certainly say that. Or are we building about enough? Or even too much?