Housing markets continue to show improvement

A separate report on Thursday provided additional evidence of the housing market's steady recovery as asking prices rose again in September and prices are up year-over-year in six of the seven swing states key to the presidential election, Trulia reported. 

Asking prices are up 2.5 percent nationally over last year and are up in 74 of the 100 largest metro areas.

At this pace, prices will be up 4 percent this year, the first yearly price gain since 2006, Jed Kolko, Trulia's chief economist said in a blog post.

The presidential candidates — President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney haven't given the issue much attention on the campaign trail and they only skimmed over it during Wednesday night's debate. 

Obama said "housing is rising," and they each talked about how mortgage regulations can help avoid the next housing crisis. 

Romney made mention of qualified mortgages, an issue likely off the beaten path for many voters. 

The two swing states where the housing crash was most severe — Nevada and Florida — saw price gains around 7 percent year-over-year. Price recovery in those states is good news for Obama, the Trulia report showed. 

But rents also increased 4.8 percent year-over-year, continuing to outpace price gains.

NAHB's index showed that total of 33 states and the District of Columbia are represented on the October list.

The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. 

Markets added to the list in October include Santa Cruz, Calif.; Pocatello, Idaho; Abilene, Texas; and Savannah, Ga.

"This is an encouraging sign that the housing recovery is proceeding at a steady pace as firming prices and employment help spur new building activity, which in turn generates new jobs and more home sales," said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the NAHB and a homebuilder from Gainesville, Fla.