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Perspectives: Extreme Optimism is in the Air

May 28, 2013

    by Jerry Robinson, Editor-in-Chief

    PERSPECTIVES – 5/28/13: Global stocks rallied on Tuesday on strong U.S. economic data showing that consumer confidence levels had climbed to a five-year high this month. Additionally, U.S. home prices rose by nearly 11% in March from a year earlier. That is the biggest annual gain in U.S. housing prices since 2006.

    Annual real estate prices grew by 22.5% in Phoenix, 22.2% in San Francisco, and 20.6% in Las Vegas. Other areas were up as well, with New York City having the slowest growth of just 2.6% for the year.

    Meanwhile, applications for building permits hit a five-year high earlier this year, as the housing recovery seems to be firming across the country. But despite the increasing prices, inventories remain low as many homeowners are not eager to sell into the current economic environment. Others, however, are trapped in homes with mortgage loans that far exceed the true value of their home.

    Increasing home values are all a part of the Fed’s coordinated attempt to create a “wealth effect” among U.S. consumers in order to cause them to spend more and accrue more consumer debt.

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