Latest report indicates gradual housing market improvement entering 2014

The housing market has been hard to gauge over the past 12 months, with analysts going back and forth between predictions of another fallout on the horizon, not unlike the one seen back in 2007, to a more prosperous new year than any in the decade before the Great Recession. With average interest on the most popular fixed-rate loans continuing to inch away from their record lows, many experts indicated demand for new housing would soon plummet. However, the latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI), which was released on January 7, 2013, indicates that new home construction is continuing to ramp up to meet sustained demand in many of the country's most sought-after locales.

"More markets are slowly returning to normal levels and we expect this upward trend to continue as an improving economy and pent-up demand brings more home buyers back into the marketplace," NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, North Carolina, said in a press release. "Policymakers must be careful to avoid actions that would harm consumer confidence and impede the ongoing recovery."

The study showed that 45 percent of metro areas classified as improving are besting the national average in their rate of improvement. What's promising about this data is the fact that a healthy portion of these metro areas are smaller districts that had been hit hardest by the Great Recession, where analysts weren't sure real estate would be able to regain a foothold so soon.

While this latest report shows positive data, the housing market remains especially volatile, specifically for those whose retirement plans are tied into real estate investments. That's why these individuals should look into asset protection and wealth preservation from the experts to make sure they can weather any storms on the horizon.