Home sales up. Inventories down. Prices rising in many cities. New houses being built at the fastest pace in years. Interest rates hovering at historic lows. A vibrant rental market.
A growing body of data in recent months has suggested that better days are on the horizon for the nation’s battered housing market, though it remains clear that a turnaround won’t come quickly.
The latest harbinger of (mostly) encouraging news: the annual State of the Nation’s Housing report released Thursday by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, which details more signs of revival.
“While still in the early innings of a housing recovery, rental markets have turned the corner, home sales are strengthening, and a floor is beginning to form under home prices,” Eric S. Belsky, the center’s managing director, said in a statement accompanying the report.
The Harvard report, released annually since 1988, assesses nearly every aspect of the country’s housing and rental markets. The findings this year offer glimmers of optimism that have been largely absent in recent years. Among them: an increase in sales of existing homes, fewer homes lingering on the market, an uptick in residential construction, signs of stabilizing prices in many areas, falling rental vacancy rates and low interest rates that make purchasing more affordable.