Five years after the collapse of the U.S. housing market, Americans seem ready to buy again. Pending home sales are up 7 percent over last year, foreclosures are at a seven-year low - and the number of homes for sale, continues to decline.
"Housing sales numbers are continuing to trend up. In fact, if anything, realtors are saying they are looking at shortages of inventories of homes for sale," said Sam Coffin, an economist at UBS Securities.
The lower inventories are pushing home prices higher. And that's giving builders a much needed boost, says Ken Simonson at Associated General Contractors of America.
"When you look at the broader construction industry, there's quite a boom going on in apartment construction, more recently, in single family homes and some of the private non-residential categories," Simonoson said.
The renewed optimism and rising stock prices may be aiding in an otherwise slow U.S. recovery. It may also explain why consumer confidence improved sharply in April, says fund manager Brad Friedlander.
"Borrowers and personal consumer balance sheets are a lot better than they were a few years ago. So we are seeing, beginning to see a rebound," Friedlander said.
Despite a much improved housing picture, economists say for now, it's unlikely to have a measurable impact on U.S. unemployment. New jobs data to be released Friday is expected to show unemployment unchanged - at 7.6 percent.
1.pending adj. 未决定的；行将发生的
The lawsuit is still pending in the state court.
2.foreclosure n. 丧失抵押品赎回权
Only through the help of a friendly lawyer did they escape foreclosure.
3.inventory n. 存货，存货清单；详细目录；财产清册
This is a detailed inventory of all the jobs to be done.
4.rebound n. 回弹；篮板球
The vibrations accompanying the rebound are the earth quake.