Here’s more evidence that the housing market is recovering.

Two major home builders, Toll Brothers Inc. and Hovnanian Enterprises Inc., said their losses were shrinking compared to last year because buyers are coming back to the market.

Other encouraging news came from HIS Global Insight, a research firm, which said home prices fell on average at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the first quarter in 199 of 330 metropolitan areas. That compares with a 12.5 percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2008 in 312 metropolitan areas.

"While it's too early to see a bottom of this housing downturn," the report said, the latest data "may signal that the market is beginning to stabilize."

Source: The Wall Street Journal, James R. Hagerty and John Spence (06/04/2009)