If you're trying to figure out where real estate is headed in the coming months, should you listen to the Federal Reserve or do you focus on the latest pending home sales numbers?
Probably both, but here's a key fact: The Fed's latest "Beige Book" report based on economic data from each of its 12 regional member banks found positive signs in nine of the 12 regions it covered. Despite blizzards and bad weather in January and early February in large portions of the country, the Fed's regional banks found consumer spending and manufacturing output increasing.
What does that signify? Consumers are slowly coming out of their shells, regaining confidence, and beginning to feel good again about buying more goods and services.
On the housing front, the National Association of Realtors reported last week that the severe weather that paralyzed entire sections of the country also put a damper on home shopping last month, knocking down pending home sales by 7.6 percent in the process.