MILLBURN, N.J. ( Stockpickr) -- There are many indications -- anecdotal and factual -- that the housing market is in the midst of a renaissance after a crushing multiyear depression.Here are some of those indicators: >>5 M&A Stocks to Buy at a Bargain
- Housing starts have been on a steady rise since February 2011 and have registered 700,000 or more since November 2011 (with a minor blip to 697,000 in December 2011).
- Building permits have to the most part followed the trend in housing starts.
- The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index has surged since September 2011to levels not seen since June 2007. The index gauges builder perception of single-family-home sales and sales expectations for the next six months.
- New-single-family-home sales bottomed in February 2011 and have risen to a level not seen since April 2010. However, the 2009-2010 single-family-home sales were bolstered by Federal tax credits, which no longer exist.
- The S&P/Case-Shiller Composite 20 City YOY Index of Home Prices, while still negative, has improved since April 2011
- Mortgage rates remain at historic low levels and should remain so for several years.