We're dealing here with a term called "housing starts" - the number of privately-owned new housing units on which construction begins during a given time. In this case, the month of September, starts rose 10 percent when compared with the same month last year. That gain came entirely from condos and apartments. Single-family homes saw a 16 percent drop.
That trend has held true throughout the year. From January through September, housing starts are up slightly - six percent higher than the first nine months in 2010. The California Building Industry Association says it believes the state is on pace for about 46,000 total housing starts this year. That's about a thousand more than last year, but nowhere near the 65,000 starts in 2008.