Inflation Pressures Are Easing but Rate Cut Forecast Remains Uncertain

The New Year is beginning where the old one ended -- with uncertainty about when – or whether – the Federal Reserve will begin cutting interest rates.

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Real estate industry professionals describe a balanced market as the ideal, with buyers and sellers evenly matched, neither having a strong advantage over the other and both willing to compromise to produce a sale. The current market reflects a balance of sorts, but not a healthy one. 

When the Federal Reserve launched its war against inflation last year, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell made it clear that he was willing to accept slower growth and possibly a recession in order to squeeze inflationary pressures out of the economy.  Most economists agreed that a recession would be the inevitable result of the Fed’s successive interest rate hikes.

Baseball season hasn’t begun yet, but the Federal Reserve  is dealing with a sweeping curve ball delivered by the sudden failures of three banks.  The first – Silvergate – a California-based lender specializing in the crypto market – didn’t attract much notice. 

As the Federal Reserve’s effort to combat inflation has pushed interest rates skyward, housing market signals have turned negative, leading many industry analysts to ask if a housing recession coming and some to suggest that it has already arrived.