Housing Market Bounces Back

    A sale advertisement is pictured in The Lakes neighborhood on Friday, Dec. 2, 2011, in Las Vegas.   Across this hardest-hit Western state, a battle of perceptions is being waged over whether Nevada is on the edge of economic recovery, or still falling four years after the collapse of its mighty housing, tourism and construction industries. It's a similar story in the rest of the nation, only in Nevada it's worse, because people here depend on the money of people elsewhere. Nevada continues to top the nation in unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcies.  (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

    Isaac Brekken / AP Photo

    Raise the roof! Earnings reports from JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo signaled that the housing market is on the mend, with more Americans paying their mortgages on time and low interest rates on refinancing mortgages. JPMorgan, the largest bank in the U.S., issued 6 percent more mortgages than a year ago and received 33 percent more applications, while Wells Fargo issued 54 percent more mortgages and got 84 percent more applications. The housing market has hindered economic recovery more than any other segment, and while home prices are still dropping, healthier housing reports from the banks far surpassed Wall Street expectations for first-quarter earnings.

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