More people are also moving out on their own after living with friends and relatives in the recession. That’s driving a big gain in apartment construction and also pushing up rents. Higher rents are encouraging investors to buy homes and rent them.
The tighter supply of homes pushed builders in December to start work on the most homes in 4½ years. Last year was the best year for residential construction 2008, just after the recession started.
Homebuilders are also benefiting from the rebound. D.R. Horton Inc. said Tuesday that its profit in the three months ended in December more than doubled and orders jumped 39 percent.
“D.R. Horton is the best positioned it has been in its 35-year history,” chief executive Donald Horton said. “We are looking forward to the spring selling season with optimism.”