The nations unemployment rate fell to 7%, it was announced Friday, and the housing market looks like it's showing significant improvement over its post-recession lows of 2009-12.
First, some background on where the market stands right now.
According to Trulia, three of the five key housing benchmarks used to tally the index are almost "back to normal": nondistressed home sales, the foreclosure rate and home prices are all on the rise right now.
On the downside, new home construction starts are behind schedule, as is young-adult employment. The housing market relies on younger Americans to buy those all-important starter homes, but that portion of the market still leaves plenty of room for improvement.
Heres a capsule look at Trulia's "Big Five" housing market predictions for 2014:
Affordability will be a big issue. Kolko says home prices will rise, as will mortgage rates. In that regard, buying is still a better financial deal than renting, but the gap is narrowing.
There will be more homes to choose from. The housing market should see more homes for sale next year as inventory deepens. Kolko says the market will see more "pure" homebuyers as investors take a breather from buying new properties. Kolko adds that banks will be green-lighting more mortgages as credit loosens across the nation.