Two More Signs the U.S. Housing Market is Recovering

For many months now, we’ve been seeing signs that the U.S. housing market is recovering steadily. If you need additional evidence of this, consider these two recent reports.

Economists: U.S. Housing Market Continues to Stabilize

The economists at Freddie Mac (the federally regulated buyer of mortgage securities) recently issued a report that said the “U.S. housing market continues to slowly stabilize.” This statement was based on Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index┬«, or MiMi, which tracks housing conditions in metro areas across the United States.

According to the latest MiMi analysis, the nation’s real estate market is stabilizing steadily, city by city and state by state. This month, four additional metro areas entered the “outer range of stable housing activity.” They include two in Pennsylvania (Harrisburg and Philadelphia), along with Albany, New York and Phoenix, Arizona.

MiMi measures housing market stability based on a variety of indicators, including mortgage payment-to-income ratios and local employment trends. At present, 29 of the 50 states have MiMi values in the “stable” range. And it seems more states will be joining them through 2015 and into 2016. “Nationally, all MiMi indicators are heading in the right direction for the second consecutive month,” the report stated.

Some of the biggest improvement are occurring within the state of Florida. Metro areas in the Sunshine State have recovered significantly since the depths of the recession. Year over year, the Florida housing market rose by 14.5% in the MiMi stability gauge.

But perhaps the most telling statistic from the recent MiMi report was this: In July, 2015, 49 of the 50 states and all of the top 100 metros showed an improving three-month trend. In July of last year, less than half of the 50 states, and 59 of the top 100 metro areas, were showing a positive three-month trend.

So clearly, the U.S. housing market recovery continues to spread across the nation.

Homes.com: Full Price Recovery in 55% of Metro Areas

Another recent report, this one by Homes.com, revealed that 55% of the nation’s top housing markets have reached a full price recovery. In other words, home prices in these local real estate markets have returned to pre-recession levels — or higher.

The company’s Local Market Index analyzes home prices in 300 of the country’s largest U.S. metro areas, relative to where prices were before the housing collapse. By their estimation, 166 of the top 300 markets (55%) have fully recovered from the erosion caused by the market crash and economic recession of a few years ago.

“We’ve reached an important benchmark in the U.S. housing market with the majority of the nation’s top 300 markets recovering at least their peak prices,” said David Mele, president of Homes.com.

Low Mortgage Rates Continue to Entice Buyers

Mortgage rates, meanwhile, continue to remain low and are enticing home buyers to enter the housing market. Last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported a 13.9% surge in home loan application volume, compared to a week earlier. This is partly the result of a dip in mortgage rates. Already at a historic low, the 30-year rate average dipped a few more basis points last week to land at 3.86%.

Disclaimer: This story includes data and commentary from third parties not associated with the Home Buying Institute. Such data are deemed reliable but not guaranteed. We make no claims or assertions about future conditions within the U.S. housing market or the broader economy.