If all you wanted for Christmas was good news about where housing is headed, then you should have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. What follows is a quick recap of the latest good news on housing activity:
Construction spending on single-family housing is up almost 90% since hitting its market low in June 2009.
According to the NAHB/First American Leading Markets Index, the overall housing market is operating at about 86% of normal conditions.
Almost 30% of builders report that the AD&C market is improving.
There's still a near shortage of completed, unsold inventory of new single-family homes, and after dipping early this fall new home sales have rebounded nicely.
NAHB's Housing Market Index, which measures builder sentiment, jumped to 58 in November, which is up 23% year-over-year; it had hit a low of less than 10 at the bottom of the market.
NAHB also reported that its index that measures the pace of current new home sales was up 26% year-over-year, and that builders overall said buyer traffic is up 22% year-over-year.
A 124,000, the number of unfilled jobs in construction is at a 5-year high.
While mortgage rates have increased over the last 12 months, they've actually declined 20 basis points since hitting a peak in September.
November housing starts, at an annual rate of 1.1 million, rose 30% year-over-year.
November single-family building permits, at an annual rate of 634,000, were up 11% year-over-year.
I could go on with the glad tidings but most of you are probably busy with last minute shopping for...building materials.