Brickell CityCentre is a new project that includes retail, offices and two condo towers. In all, some 19 condo towers are going up in downtown Miami, just seven years after the housing market crash. Greg Allen/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Greg Allen/NPR

A sign hangs outside a house in Miami in 2010. Currently, Florida's foreclosure legal process can take a couple of years, which critics say is hurting the housing market. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images

New homebuilding reached a 4 1/2 year high in December, welcome news for an industry that lost 2 million jobs during the downturn. Despite those job losses, the sector is experiencing a labor shortage in some parts of the U.S. Tony Dejak/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Tony Dejak/AP

Millions of U.S. families have a recent foreclosure on their record. Typically, that means waiting at least seven years before securing another home loan. But some families say they are having luck buying again — sometimes in as few as three years. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Kitsy Roberts and Janko Williams have traded a rent payment for a mortgage. The Seattle couple is planning to put a lot of sweat equity into their fixer-upper. Wendy Kaufman/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Wendy Kaufman/NPR

Despite millions of troubled mortgages around the country, housing hasn't been a major issue in the presidential race so far. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

David Sole rode a bus from Detroit to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., to protest how the Obama administration and the nation's banks have handled the foreclosure crisis. Yuki Noguchi/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Yuki Noguchi/NPR