The depressed housing market has held the economy back for four years.

No longer.

Home construction has finally begun a gradual comeback and should add to the nation’s economic growth in 2011, a turning point in the recovery from the Great Recession.

The main reason appears to be a positive consequence of the weak economy: Apartments are being built almost twice as fast as two years ago. Renting is the only option for many people who have lost their jobs, their homes or both…

…”When you have a slowdown in home sales and a growth in population, there’s a lot of pent-up demand for apartments,” says Mark Dellonte, president of Love Funding, which provides loans for apartment construction across the country.

The above includes excerpts from “Rise in home construction suggests a turnaround” by Derek Kravitz. Read the full article on Bloomberg Businessweek.