According to The Department of Commerce’s April report on new residential construction, housing starts jumped 40.9 percent from last year and 5.8 percent above the month before. Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, said increased demand from the home buyer tax credit lifted construction but its expiration has homebuilders wary, noting the 11.5 percent drop in building permits. Despite the drop in permits, which suggests starts will also fall off this summer, a recent report from the National Association of Home Builders showed builder confidence at a 2-1/2 year high. More here, here, here, and here.