The housing recovery is nearly halfway complete, according to Trulia’s Housing Barometer, which in October posted its largest increase since it began tracking recovery 18 months ago.

Trulia monitors delinquency and foreclosure rates, existing home sales, and construction starts and compares them with their worst points during the housing crisis and their normal pre-bubble levels. All three indicators showed improvement in October.

Delinquency and foreclosure rates declined to 10.64 percent in October, falling from 11.27 percent in September and 11.88 percent a year ago.

In fact, the delinquency and foreclosure rate is lower than it has been in four years.

Compared to crisis highs and pre-bubble norms, delinquencies and foreclosures are 41 percent between.

Existing home sales are faring even better, at 59 percent between their worst rates during the crisis and their norms prior to the bubble. “Sales are 59% back to normal-more than halfway,” according to Trulia.

Existing home sales in October rose to 4.79 million, a 2 percent increase, following a decline in September.

Construction starts also rose in October, rising 4 percent over the month to an annualized rate of 894,000. The year-over-year increase was a grand 42 percent.

Construction starts are now 41 percent of the way back to normal levels.

Combining the three indicators, Trulia suggests the housing market is now 47 percent back to normal.

“Not only is the housing market closer to normal than at any other point since the crisis, the recovery is also accelerating,” stated Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, in a blog post Wednesday.


by Krista Brook