CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The number of new housing permits is showing signs of life in Charlotte's housing market.

Permits for single family homes is up about 35 percent this year compared to last across the greater Charlotte area, according to homebuilder Lennar, the largest homebuilder in Mecklenburg County in 2011 based upon value and permits.

Lennar plans to build approximately 1,000 new homes in the area over the next couple of years, officials said, citing an uptick in demand for new homes.

An increase in demand is keeping carpenter Jeremy Maher on the clock.

We've definitely noticed a difference. We've had a ton of new houses going up, he said.

Maher and co-worker Andy Arbaugh started working on one house in Fieldstone Manor in Matthews. Now they're on their eleventh home working on wood trim.

We're getting paid, and at the end of the day that's what matters, Maher expressed.

A few years ago, Maher said he could barely get 15 hours of work a week due to a horrible economy, a struggling housing market and builders putting projects on hold.

I know a lot of guys were struggling to get by to pay rent and put food on the table; it was definitely a tough time, he said.

Number show the tide is turning.

This November, there were 827 various types of new residential home permits issued in Mecklenburg County compared to 432 from November 2011, according to county numbers.

This October, the total cost of construction for various types of new homes was $89.5 million dollars compared to $54.2 million in October, 2011, according to county records.

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