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Houses for sale in San Marcos, California.
Reuters/Mike Blake
Houses for sale in San Marcos, California.
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Americans are finally building houses again after that rough winter

By Melvin Backman

Now that the snow has melted, the real estate industry is getting back on its feet in a strong way.

The US Census Bureau said homebuilders got started (pdf) on construction at an annualized rate of 1.1 million units in April, the highest since 2007. In the snow-pummeled northeast, starts climbed nearly 40% from March.

The national figure is still a far cry from where it was before the recession, but it’s a positive sign for the economy. Wells Fargo’s economists were pretty excited about it in a note they wrote to clients:

After another harsh winter, March housing starts barely bounced back, adding to fears that weakness in the housing market and the broader U.S. economy may have more than the winter weather to blame. April’s report has put those fears to rest, with housing starts surging 20.2 percent in the month.