UNITED STATES - There is another sign that the housing market is starting to recover.
The Department of Commerce reported Thursday that builders broke ground on houses at a seasonably adjusted rate of 954,000. That is 12.1% higher than November's rate.
Quad City home builders say they are already starting to see the effects. Home builder Bob Buker says he usually builds about 50 houses a year. He says he's already entered into four contracts this week.
"For a January, we've had a pretty good start," Buker said. "You get exactly what you want when you buy new construction. Every color, every amenity, every option is yours."
Buker has developed the Beaver Crossing subdivision in Bettendorf. In Illinois, Anchor Lumber owner Alex McGehee says that people are building a little as well. He says people are building just outside of the Quad Cities, in places like Milan, Coal Valley, and Henry County.
"People are moving to mostly what I consider the outlying areas," McGehee said. "We've done a lot of custom homes."
McGehee and Buker say the housing numbers are welcome news during the winter. An estimated 780,000 housing units were started in 2012.