Housing industry is 51 percent back to normal, but challenges remain

As the U.S. economy struggles to rebound following the Great Recession, real estate professionals and analysts continue to reveal encouraging data about the housing market, meaning that 2013 could be a great year for the industry.

Real estate research website Trulia recently released its November Housing Barometer, a measure that tracks key indicators such as construction starts, existing-home sales and delinquencies combined with foreclosures to see how they are rating. By comparing this data to numbers before and during the housing crisis, the website's analysts can better determine the state of the current housing market.

This most recent report shows that, based on the key indicators mentioned above, the housing industry is 51 percent back to normal – even considering the fact that Hurricane Sandy disrupted activity in the Northeast.

The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), however, has cautioned that although the industry will likely see positive growth going into 2013, there are challenges that remain.

"Consistent, positive reports on housing starts, permits, prices, new-home sales and builder confidence in recent months provide further confirmation that a gradual but steady housing recovery is underway across much of the nation," NAHB chief economist David Crowe said in a press release. "However, stubbornly tight lending standards for home buyers and builders, inaccurate appraisals and proposals by policymakers to tamper with the mortgage interest deduction could dampen future housing demand."

As the housing market continues to improve going into the new year, it will be important for potential homebuyers to keep their finances in mind when selecting a new property. By working with a lender that uses loan management software, borrowers can ensure that they are making financially responsible choices and maintaining their monthly payments.