Though the housing recovery has been slow at times and up-and-down at best, an emerging upward trend has an increasing number of local real-estate markets showing improvement. In fact, according to Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index – which measures the stability of the nation’s housing market – residential real estate hasn’t completely rebounded compared to its June 2008 all-time high but it has regained 22.6 percent since its low and is now 4 percent above last year’s level. The improvement is an indication that an increasing number of markets are seeing their fundamentals improve, including home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios, proportion of on-time mortgage payments, and the local employment picture. Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said there’s been a pick-up in the number of states and individual cities improving at the local level based on their three-month trend. In addition, this positive trend has extended beyond the larger markets and is now beginning to boost smaller metros. In all, eight additional metro and state housing markets were added to the list of areas showing positive momentum from the month before. More here.