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      Housing Market Shows Big Improvement

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      There is encouraging news in thehousing market.

      Home prices in 20 major markets posteda 9.3 percent rise over the last 12 months. That is the biggest 12-month gainsince May 2006.

      The housing recovery has been drivenby near record-low mortgage rates, a drop in foreclosures and reducedunemployment.

      Despite the improvement, the housingmarket index is still down 28 percent from the peak in 2006.

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