The U.S. real estate market continues to recover, according to a recent study from National Association of Home Builders and title insurance firm First American.

Of the 350 metro markets in the study, 56 have returned to or exceeded their last “normal” levels of economic and housing activity, the NAHB says in its most recent Leading Markets Index.

Overall, the U.S. real estate market is at 88 percent of what is considered a normal, healthy market. Eighty-three percent of markets surveyed have seen their scores improve.

"Markets are gradually returning to normal levels of housing and economic activity," said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. "When we see more sustainable levels of job growth, this will unleash pent-up demand and bring more buyers into the marketplace."