It's been a long, hard slog. But builders in and around Wilmington, North Carolina, say that the market is finally making a comeback. The Star News has this report: ("Builder confidence on the rise as area markets improve," by Wayne Faulkner).

""My sense is it's the best year since the bottom," Cameron Moore, executive director of the Wilmington-Cape Fear Home Builders Association, told the paper. "With the low mortgage rates and pent-up demand, it's going to continue to drive the recovery."

"The builders I've talked to are very, very busy, and they are starting to get back up as far as getting homes in the ground," said Cameron. "We are starting to see small price increases as builders move out of a survival mode and into a profit mode."

But a shortage of developed lots continues to hamper builders in the area, the report said.