Nightly News | September 19, 2012
>>> the home sale, jumping in august with a much higher number than was expected. this is a sign that the real estate is at least trying to stage a comeback after struggling after the wake of the housing bubble that burst in 2007 . diana, good evening from washington.
>> reporter: good evening, brian, you know even the realtors today were saying that the housing recovery seems "much more convincing," but they still warn there are head winds, like getting a mortgage today, that make it weaker than it could be. sales of existing homes jumped nearly 8% last month, surprising some on wall street who thought the housing recovery may be faltering. sales have not been this high in two years since the temporary lift on the tax credit .
>> we're both gainfully employed. and our kids are happy. and we just need that perfect home.
>> reporter: but the numbers are still about a million short of what is considered a healthy market, largely due to very tight credit. almost a third of those who are buying are paying cash.
>> it is a lot harder to qualify for a loan than it was three or four years ago. and that is the key reason why the sales market has not picked up as much as the rest of the housing market .
>> reporter: and while there are fewer foreclosures for sale now, there is a hefty pipeline for old loans, and more foreclosures are on the way. those homes will compete directly with new construction which rose to a two-year high in august, but still less than half of what it was during the housing boom.
>> we're seeing very good housing numbers coming up, but have to put it in context. the fed put it in a good way when they say the housing market is improving, but still depressed.
>> reporter: permits to build future homes suggest the gains should continue, but multi family homes are increasing. if you take families forcing foreclosure, the home ownership is at a 50-year low.
>> the people are seeing prices go up, and more people are starting to jump in.
>> reporter: home prices are slowly coming back, up 1.7% in august from a year ago, according to one estimate but the gains are slowing. august was good, but remember that home sales are still nearly two thirds of what they were in 2005 , and today's mortgage rates are not helping much. that is because too many americans don't have the credit scores or the down payment to qualify for the great rates.