Online real estate giant Trulia's Housing Barometer charts the market improvement each month, tracking how quickly the housing market is moving "back to normal." An article posted on Forbes.com's real estate section discusses the three key pieces that paint this market picture for us:
- Construction starts: this represents the number of new homes being built throughout the country. Increased number of construction starts equates to housing availability and inventory for homebuyers. In May, starts were over 900,000, a healthy boost from April up 7%.
- Existing home sales: As inventory begins to expand, we begin to see a rise in sale of existing homes. Just over 5 million homes sold in May 2013, up 4% from April and a whopping 23% increase year over year. May was also the 4th straight month of inventory expansion.
- Delinquency + foreclosure rate: As we see the market begin to regain a sense of normalcy, we want to see this number drop. And in May, thats exactly what it did, to 9.13% from last years 11.08%. Fewer people are falling behind on their mortgages gently pushing the delinquency + foreclosure rate down. It is currently 57% back to normal.
By comparing these numbers to (1) their pre-recession "normal" numbers and (2) the numbers at their worst, we are able to see the market's recovery rate, exactly how close we are to a full recovery, and when we can expect that 100% recovery we are all anxiously awaiting. One year ago, the market was just 35% "back to normal" and this is the first time the barometer has crossed over into the 60th percentile.