U.S. mortgage rates are the lowest in at least four decades, with a 30-year fixed loan available at 4.09 percent. That didn’t help Alexis Wolf buy a town home in Beaverton, Ore. “Unless you have family help, you’re stuck renting,” said Wolf, 26, a real estate broker who turned to relatives for a loan because she didn’t have the credit and employment history needed to qualify for a mortgage. Wolf’s experience illustrates the predicament for Federal Reserve policy makers as they end a two-day meeting today to consider ways to boost economic growth. Low interest rates, the traditional medicine for a flagging economy, aren’t helping housing, which since 1982 has aided every recovery except the current one.
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In early April, HousingWire Columnist Logan Mohtashami wrote about five indicators that would show when “America is back.” Now, he’s checking in on each data point to see where the U.S. housing market stands.
Engaging with the data, even soft data like surveys of opinion gives us reliable hints into what to expect in specific segments of the economy and what parts are going to recover faster.