Each month, Trulia's Housing Barometer charts how quickly the housing market is moving back to "normal." We summarize three key housing market indicators: construction starts (Census), existing home sales (NAR), and the delinquency-plus-foreclosure rate (LPS First Look). For each indicator, we compare this month's data to (1) how bad the numbers got at their worst and (2) their pre-bubble "normal" levels.
In December 2012, construction starts jumped dramatically, while home sales and the delinquency + foreclosure rate remained near their strong November levels:
Averaging these three back-to-normal percentages together, the housing market is now 52% of the way back to normal, compared with 27% in December 2011. In just the past three months, Trulia's Housing Barometer has jumped 11 points, from 41% in September 2012 to 52% in December 2012. However, the recovery is uneven: in some of the healthiest markets, like Houston, San Francisco, and Raleigh, NC, construction is above normal levels and there are few foreclosures left to come. At the same time, in Miami, Chicago, and Riverside-San Bernardino, construction remains far below normal and there are many foreclosures in the pipeline; in those markets, the recovery is still an uphill climb.
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