After five years of tough news about the housing industry, it's refreshing to notice the brighter tone of media coverage these days.

Check out a couple recent headlines:

U.S. housing market making consistent gains
Housing a boost to economy’s recovery in 2013

It's big news: The housing industry is looking much better.

In fact, housing is currently outpacing business investment and exports in the U.S., according to a recent report from the UCLA Anderson Forecast. As a result, unemployment could drop to 7.2 percent by the end of 2014 – thanks in large part to housing.

The November RE/MAX Housing Report showed a 17.8 percent increase in closed transactions and a median home price boost to 2.1 percent in October. Nearly 30 percent fewer homes were for sale during the same time period last year.

Joseph LaVorgna, an economist at Deutsche Bank, thinks the housing recovery could increase U.S. economic growth by a full percentage point next year. “Housing could provide a meaningful – and critical – lift to overall economic activity when other growth drivers, like exports, are slowing,” he told CBS News.

That means more jobs, especially in construction, and higher consumer spending.

Five years ago, the housing industry had too many listings and not enough buyers. This contributed to dropping home values and led to an unbelievable amount of foreclosures. Today, it’s the complete opposite. There are many buyers and not enough inventory.

While this can be frustrating for real estate agents – having the demand, but not enough supply – it’s certainly helping home prices. It should also spark a wave of new construction projects, according to U.S. News and World Report.