More evidence of the upturn in the midwestern housing market, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Twin Cities home builders had their best May in at least a decade.

Last month, 496 permits were issued to build 830 units, according to a report from the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. That was a 38 percent increase in permits and a 61 percent increase in units compared with May 2015.

“We’re seeing a lot more sales come across our desk,” said Randy Bacchus, director of Edina Realty’s new construction division. “Consumers are feeling a lot more comfortable.”

After years of trailing the broader recovery in Twin Cities residential real estate, home builders are busier than since before the 2008 recession. A shortage of existing houses is forcing buyers to consider new construction. The lowest mortgage rates in a generation are also helping driving sales.

Demand is extreme for entry-level new houses, but home builders struggle to find land that’s inexpensive enough to keep the total cost of a home below $300,000.

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