Housing passes halfway mark on road to improvement

A recent report from Trulia shows that the housing market has now improved beyond the 50 percent mark.

According to the analysis firm's November Housing Barometer, the housing market is now 51 percent of the way back to normal levels of activity.

In judging the normalcy of the housing market, Trulia measures several different factors, including construction starts, existing home sales and the national foreclosure rate. Although construction starts dipped by 3 percent from October to November, they were up year-over-year by 22 percent.

Similarly, existing home sales rose 6 percent over October levels, the highest increase since November 2009. Sales are now 73 percent back to normal. The foreclosure rate fell slightly from 10.64 percent in October to 10.63 percent in November, which is not a significant decrease, but nonetheless represents the maintenance of the post-crisis low.

Although many rental property managers are concerned that the improvement of the housing market will lead to fewer rental applications, the rental market shows continued growth in the face of the return to retail normalcy.