The so-called 'sand states' of California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada led the nation into the 2008 housing meltdown. But the popular real estate destinations are coming back – albeit slowly – with home building permits on the rise in all four states.

Data released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. shows the four states struggling with high unemployment even as the local housing markets pick up speed.

Single-family home building permits in Arizona, for example, jumped 62.1% year-over-year in the second quarter, the FDIC said in a new profile of the Southwest state. Multifamily building permits also rose 237% over year ago levels. The jumps come at a time when housing reports suggest investors and buyers are on the prowl in Arizona looking for solid residential deals.

In addition, home prices in Arizona edged up a modest 2.7% annually in 2Q while unemployment dropped to 8.2% from 9.6% in 1Q.

California still struggles with a high 10.8% unemployment rate, but single-family permits are growing steadily. In the second quarter, the state's home building permits jumped 9.8% from last year while multifamily permits increased 12.8%.

Home prices in California declined 1.3% from a year earlier, but that drop is improved from a 2.2% fall experienced in the first quarter.

Then, there is Florida – a state that has been attracting investors and cash buyers for months.

Unemployment fell from 9.3% in the first quarter to 8.6% in 2Q. Meanwhile, single-family home building permits are up at least 27% from year ago levels, which is slightly slower than the 30.8% increase reported in 1Q. Multifamily building permits also are up 125.5% while the home price index is down a slight 1.8% from a year ago.

Nevada, perhaps, is facing the slowest turnaround economically.

Single-family home permits grew 65.1% year-over-year in the second quarter, while multifamily building permits fell 55.2% over last year. The home price index cited by the FDIC shows prices in the state down 2% over last year. The state's unemployment rate also fell slightly from 1Q, but still hangs just under 12%.