Housing Market Up, Unemployment Down, But Gas Prices Creeping Up Again

The housing market has been making a solid recovery compared to the past few years where springtime gains were erased in the second and third quarters of the year.

New foreclosure rates are down 3% since last month and 10% from a year ago while companies like high-end home builder Toll Brothers say they are hiring and building and are growing strong.

That's good news for the economy because the housing market usually helps bring the economy out of recession, though after this recession the housing market continued to languish due to new and persistent foreclosure filings.

In a survey of 147 metropolitan markets, 110 of those saw the average home price rise to $181,500, or 7.3% higher than a year go. Housing prices are still 20% below their peak just before the recession, but the gap is closing according to RealtyTrac.

Also supporting the good numbers were new unemployment claims which were down to 361,000 this week, or 6,000 less than last week.

The one thing keeping a lid on an all out recovery is gas prices which have started creeping up again, with the national average for a gallon of gas now at $3.66, that is a 1 cent increase from last year this time, and up more than 30 cents since last month.

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