Residential real estate has been slowly recovering ever since the financial crisis and housing crash. But, according to a new report from the National Association of Home Builders, the housing market is now 90 percent back to its normal level of activity based on current building permit, home price, and employment data. In fact, gains were seen in housing markets both big and small, including major metros such as Los Angeles and Houston as well as smaller cities in Wyoming and North Dakota. Kevin Kelly, NAHB’s chairman, said markets are recovering at a slow but gradual pace, which should pick up with continued gains in job creation, economic growth, and consumer confidence. As of the most recent reading, 59 of the nearly 350 metro areas covered by the NAHB’s Leading Markets Index returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity during the third quarter of 2014 and 66 percent showed improvement over the previous year. That continued improvement, though gradual, is a good sign that housing will sustain its gains into 2015. More here.