There's another sign out there that things are improving. We are starting to see new construction again. When prices go down, new construction has a hard time competing, since the costs of land, site improvements, labor, and materials don't really go down much, so new construction can't compare to the price of a home that was built a few years ago. In addition, loans are harder to get, and most builders find it difficult to get financing for projects. Add in the time a completed home could sit on the market before selling, and you don't see much being started.
Lately, statistics from around the country show housing starts beginning to rise. We're at the end of that increase, since we don't have as much land, as much new employment, and costs as low as some other states. Even we, however, are noticing activity. There is always a portion of the buying public that seeks out new construction, especially people moving from other places, who want their new home to look like the home they left behind. In recent years, many of them have turned to renting, either because they left behind an unsold home, or because they were worried that it was the wrong time to be buying. Eventually, even the most skittish will want to settle down. And it looks as though that time may be upon us--good news for everyone!