The housing recovery, nationally and here in New Jersey, had been slow in building momentum. However, week after week recently, it seems we're getting more positive news. Experts say the latest numbers show New Jersey's homebuilding industry is regaining its footing.

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In May, New Jersey's homebuilders obtained more construction approvals than in any month since mid-2008. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, residential building permits are up nearly 46 percent this year, compared to the first five months of 2012.

"The momentum is positive," said economic analyst Patrick O'Keefe with CohnReznick in Roseland. "We're not back anywhere near where we were before the 2006-2007 meltdown."

The recent acceleration can be attributed almost entirely to multifamily approvals, but single family homes are also picking up steam. They accounted for only 5.2 percent of May's month-to-month increase.

O'Keefe said better homebuilding statistics is a good news story for the economy overall, starting directly with increased jobs and incomes in the construction industry.

"When we build new homes, people need furniture. We need appliances," he explained. "As homebuilding picks up, the rest of the state's economy will experience higher employment and increased incomes.

Other recent reports have shown a drop in foreclosures nationwide, a steady rise in home prices and an increase in home sales.