Real estate markets have definitely been improving. Discouraged money looks away from high priced gateway wealth-island citadels where the best investments have become just too dear and begins to boost prospects for secondary markets and more commodity properties, foraging for better—albeit riskier– deals.  Occupancies look better, rents inch up, and thankfully most commercial development stays mothballed, while multifamily builders have room to run given renter demand. And now even housing looks like it’s finally on the mend.

But an examination of the economic smoke signals does not offer a confidence boost. The unemployment numbers do no better than edge down at a painfully slow rate, statistically helped by discouraged job seekers leaving the market. The Fed now extends its timeline for keeping interest rates at rock-bottom rates until 2015. As we have noted before, Bernanke and friends implement this printing money policy, because their examination of data suggests the economy remains in a weakened if not dire state.  Pushing the low rate regimen out for another two whole years suggests they see no sign of rapid jobs and wage gains, or maybe just the opposite.

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