The housing market’s recovery over the past few years has been up and down. Some measures of the market’s health have rebounded faster than others. Home prices, for example, have largely recovered the losses suffered following the financial crisis. Housing starts, on the other hand, have lagged behind. Starts are a gauge of how many new homes began construction during the month and an important indicator of, not only the real estate market’s health, but the overall strength of the economy. And according to new numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, new home construction had its best month since November 2007 in April. In fact, housing starts surged 20.2 percent from the month before to an adjusted annual rate of 1,135,000. The report also found a 10.1 percent increase in the number of building permits requested, an indication that the improvement should continue in the months ahead. It is welcome news for a number of reasons but, for potential home buyers, it means more new homes for sale, which should help with inventory levels in markets where fewer homes for sale have led to price increases and more buyer competition. More here.