Fewer write-downs and new-home order cancellations along with improved order rates are some of the most positive signs from home builders since the housing market began to roll over four years ago.

Aside from the nation’s banks, no industry was humbled by the recession quite as much as home builders. But, similar to the banks, builders got a lot of support from Uncle Sam, which has helped some recently return to profitability.

Supports such as the first-time home-buyer tax credit, longer tax-loss carry-backs as well as huge write-downs in land and inventory values, have allowed builders to, for lack of a better term, rebuild themselves. Many are leaner, and less burdened with debt, which should enable them to turn reliably profitable once the economy improves.

Source: Wall Street Journal