Credit access--although slightly easier than the worst of times--is still overly-constraining home buyer demand.

Measures of progress in housing's painstaking, iffy, spotty, and choppy recovery path each come as a double-edged sword. They show how far the marketplace has come from the desperate depths it was in; and how far there is still to go to get to a full healing.

Redfin senior managing editor for research Lorraine Woellert uses plain English and crystal clear fever charts that illustrate the where-we-are-and-where-we-need-to-go pathway housing is on. She writes:

Where does that leave the state of housing? Approaching normal, but not there yet.

“Housing has come a long way and it’s moving in the right direction,” Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson said. “Still, for many middle class families home ownership remains a dream deferred by high prices, tight credit and stagnant wages.”

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