Huge Housing Rebound, All-Time Low Rates, But At What Cost?
This week's economic data included the biggest-ever gain in Pending Home Sales, a leading indicator for the housing market. Meanwhile, mortgage rates pushed down to new all-time lows yet again. But at what cost? The most pessimistic way to explain the surge in home sales is to say it was only made possible by the record-setting declines in the past few months. That's mostly true, but it fails to give credit to what the industry and government officials have been doing to help jump start economic activity. Would sales bounce back like this without all-time low mortgage rates and a stock market recovery (both made possible by emergency intervention from the Federal Reserve)? Would consumers be as comfortable spending money without the promise of additional fiscal stimulus and other support programs...(read more)