Sometimes, the most important data about a company is the hardest to come by. In this case, I'm referring to historic sales figures from D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI), the nation's largest homebuilder by units sold. While this is the single-most accurate reflection of D.R. Horton's performance -- not to mention, it provides valuable insight into the condition of the overall housing market -- a comprehensive data set containing the figures is nowhere to be found.

It's for this reason I decided to share the chart below. In the midst of conducting research on the broader economy, I dug through D.R. Horton's quarterly filings to discover how its unit sales are recovering from the downturn. And the answer, as you can see for yourself, is: slowly.

Source: Quarterly filings.

While the performance of one company may seem inconsequential, it's important to keep in mind that, as I mentioned above, D.R. Horton is the nation's largest homebuilder by number of units sold, and as my colleague Morgan Housel has noted, "there hasn't been a strong economy without a strong housing market in modern history."

John Maxfield has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.