Last week we wrote about the meager GDP number for the first quarter of this year. While there was growth, you had to squint to see it as GDP from January to March increased just 0.1 percent. Fed Chair Janet Yellen met today with a joint Congressional committee to give Congress an insight onrates to remain low Fed thinking and what the economy might expect later this year.

When asked about the 0.1 percent number she repeated what many have said that production was down because the weather was so bad in much of the country. From the Midwest all throughout the eastern seaboard, unusually severe stormy weather iced roads, closed businesses and shut down airports. According to Yellen, the economy right now is “on track for solid growth this quarter.” Exactly what gauges solid growth is a bit unclear but she did make a point that the housing market needs to be watched to make help sustain the recovery and could be a risk factor.

The Fed also tapered as promised last week to the tune of yet another $10B and is now purchasing almost half of what it garnered just last fall. The Fed will now buy $45B in mortgage bonds and Treasuries until the next FOMC meeting. She said that early numbers indicate a spending recovery this spring but at the same time wage growth is also somewhat stagnant.

With an eye on the unemployment rate as well as the labor participation rate, she told the committee that the Fed will remain accommodating for a “considerable time” until the target 2.00 inflation rate is hit and the labor participation rate returns to a more normal range. The last reported rate had labor participation rate at a 35 year low.

For real estate investors and home buyers alike, this all indicates that financing costs should remain near their current levels. Lenders are also approving more loans as underwriting guidelines are continuing to relax in the buyer’s favor.