There's more evidence the long-suffering housing market may be poised for a turnaround. Unfortunately, there's also a new indicator of just how far the market has to go.
Home prices in 20 major cities rose an average of 1.6 percent in July, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home index. It's the third straight month prices were up in all 20 markets tracked by the index.
David Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said the new report shows "upbeat trends continue."
"Single family housing starts are well ahead of last year’s pace, existing home sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity is slowing," he said. "All in all, we are more optimistic about housing."
July prices are the best we've seen in nine years, when the market was on the way to its peak in 2006.
And according to figures from the Census Bureau, the median price of a new home in August was $256,900, up 11 percent from the month before.
But, the news isn't all good. Analytics firm Fiserv predicts it will take until 2023 for housing prices to recover to the peak level reached in 2006. That's based on Fiserv's projection of a 3.7 percent annual rise in prices for the next five years.
Some markets will take much longer to heal. In Nevada, where prices dropped 60 percent from the peak, Fiserv predicts it will take more than 40 years for a full recovery.