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The Willis Report

Recession Over? That's a Pretty Tough Sell

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Economists have proclaimed the recession over because we've had positive--albeit incredibly weak--GDP  numbers.

But tell that to the 15 million of us who are unemployed  and the one million of us who will lose their home this year.

To them the "recession" is far from over and now some are worried the housing sector is just going to get worse. The Wall Street Journal points out in recoveries in the past the housing market's recovery accounted for nearly 1% of the GDP. Today -  it's only a tenth of that!

And the numbers tell the story: sales were down more than 25% in October from the same time in 2009 despite mortgage rates at all time lows of just over four percent - applications are at their all-time lows!

The foreclosure crisis is ever-present - with 900,000victions in 2009. This year alone we will likely see foreclosures top the million mark, that's according to Realty Trac.

And next could get worse with the Senior Vice President Rick Sharga saying: "We expect we will top both of those numbers in 2011."

The correlation between the housing sector and the unemployment picture is obvious - no job means you can't afford to pay your mortgage.

But another hindrance to a recovery: the banks. Lenders are still too jittery from the original crash to loosen standards. Only about 4% of bankers have said they've loosened their requirements.

In fact the Federal Reserve says 13% actually tightened them in the third quarter,  plus more and more banks are making their determinations on someone's eligibility for a mortgage on credit scores.

Which often times are not an accurate measure of one's financial situation!

Believe me, I understand the cold feet  and no one wants providers to fall back into the irresponsible and bad behavior that led to the crash in the first place.

But if we want to see more people buying homes - we have to let them!

Be sure to catch the Willis Report on the FOX Business Network every weekday from 5-6pm ET.

Gerri Willis joined Fox Business Network (FBN) in March of 2010. Willis is an anchor and personal finance reporter for the network.

Bank Rates

Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 3.83% dw 3.86%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 2.95% up 2.94%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.27% up 4.24%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.13% up 3.05%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.77% up 3.70%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.40% up 4.38%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.07% up 4.06%  
$30K Loan Graph 4.54% dw 4.56%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.20% -- 4.20%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.20% -- 4.20%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 3.07% dw 3.08%  
36 M Used Graph 3.29% dw 3.30%  
48 M New Graph 3.05% dw 3.06%  
48 M Used Graph 2.96% up 2.87%  
60 M New Graph 3.13% dw 3.14%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.37% up 0.36%  
1 yr Graph 0.61% -- 0.61%  
5 yr Graph 1.44% dw 1.48%