U.S. Housing Market Seeing Signs of a Spring Thaw

From RealTrends.com: In Indianapolis, an open house event tends to draw 10 people on a good day. But after the snowiest winter on record for the U.S. Midwestern city, prospective homebuyers were champing at the bit: 45 people came to an open house late last month, according to mortgage executive Greg Block.“The Realtor was dumbfounded,” said Block, vice president of lending at Austin, Texas-based Open Mortgages, which has branches near Indianapolis. “The winters were so brutal across the country that people just hunkered down and didn’t do anything.” As much of the United States thaws out from a particularly frigid winter, signs are also pointing to a warmer national housing market.

Anecdotal evidence from homebuilders, mortgage lenders and brokers suggests that demand in the residential housing market is picking up, potentially paving the way for a broader acceleration in an economy that has been in a slow-growth mode since pulling out of the financial crisis. Housing is an important part of the economic fabric, contributing about 18 percent to Gross Domestic Product including private residential investment as well as consumption spending on housing services, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

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