The Commerce Department on Tuesday reported that new home building in the U.S. continues to gain momentum with permits for home construction jumping 4.6% in February, the biggest gain in nearly five years.

Once again, analysts say the data supports the notion that it is the housing market that’s driving economic growth in the U.S. right now.

Speaking to Reuters, Dan Heckman, a fixed income strategist at The Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank in Kansas City, Missouri, said, “Housing will be a major contributor not just to GDP growth, but also to job creation.”

Last year was the first time since 2005 that new home building added to economic growth, and the new data suggest it will provide even stronger support in 2013.

More on the Commerce Department’s housing report here and here.

Photo Above: The latest creation from Bowery Design Group, designed for 1853 Marcheeta Place, in the coveted “Bird” streets, up Doheny Drive on the prime western end of the Sunset Strip.