Housing starts in Connecticut in 2010 inched their way out of the recessionary trough of 2009, rising 3.9 percent from 3,786 to 3,932 year over year. But that figure, released earlier this month by the state’s Department of Economic & Community Development, remains far below the pre-recession norm, which peaked in 2005 with 11,885 housing permits issued.


Local governments across Connecticut also authorized the demolition of 834 housing units, resulting in a net gain of 3,098 units during 2010.


The most active areas of the state for home construction were New Haven and Fairfield counties, where 1,019 and 926 housing permits were issued, respectively, in 2010.


The most permits for new homes — 478 for the year — were issued by the city of New Haven. But that figure includes a major data-distorter — the completion of a major new residential development at 360 State Street, a mixed-use “green” project that includes 500 rental housing units.


The second most active municipality in Connecticut was Danbury, which authorized the creation of 128 new units of housing.


In New Haven County, the most new residential units (after New Haven) were green-lighted by Milford, which approved 90 new units. Wallingford (63 new units) and the once-rural but now fast-growing towns of Prospect and Oxford were also engines of housing activity, approving 48 and 45 new homes, respectively, during 2010.