If you're not looking to buy a new house, you may not think the number of new homes being built has anything to do with your home search. But it does. In fact, much of what's happening in the housing market today is a result of lagging new home construction numbers in the years following the housing crash and financial crisis. With fewer new homes being added to the national housing stock, low inventory became a persistent issue, driving prices and competition higher. The pandemic, supply shortages, and spiking material costs made it even worse over the past year and a half. New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development offer prospective home buyers some hope, though. According to their most recent release, the number of building permits to build new homes rose 4 percent in October. And the number of building permits for single-family homes was up 2.7 percent. That means, a rising number of new homes will be built in the months ahead, which should help alleviate some of the upward pressure on home prices and give buyers more options to choose from when shopping for a house to buy.