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Federal Reserve Policy Makers felling better about US Housing Market

by Toni
July 10, 2015
Category:   Blog Features

For the first time in a while, Federal Reserve policy makers are feeling better about the U.S. housing market.“Signs of stronger housing activity were encouraging,” said minutes of the Fed’s June 16-17 policy meeting. The central bank signaled a shift in its view of the housing market three weeks ago in its postmeeting policy statement, replacing a long-standing reference to a “slow” recovery with a mention that “the housing sector has shown some improvement.” The change followed a string of solid readings in recent months on U.S. home sales and residential construction. The minutes, released Wednesday, still offered a somewhat cautious assessment of recent data. “A number of participants noted that housing starts and permits rose considerably in recent months, and indicators of sales activity turned more positive,” they said. “Nonetheless, home construction was still below the trend that would appear consistent with population growth, sales remained at low levels, and credit availability was still relatively tight.” The Fed’s view of the housing market has remained more or less downbeat since mid-2013, when a jump in mortgage rates threw the sector off-balance. In the June 2013 policy statement, the Fed confidently said the housing market “has strengthened further.” But that July, it added a reference to rising mortgage rates, and by October it saw a slowdown in progress. From March 2014 to April 2015, it said in 10 consecutive policy statements that the recovery either “remained slow” or “remains slow.”


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