OpinionIndustry News

Interest-rate hike sets off boom in Internet dating

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Web analytics firm Nielsen//NetRatings suggested two reasons why traffic on real estate Web sites spiked after the Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark interest rate earlier this month. Both reasons seemed logical, but neither of them adequately explained what happened or why. The two reasons were that the summer is "traditionally peak season" for home sales and that a decline in "interest rates" spurred activity from "folks who would like to buy or sell a home before the general trend towards high interest rates continues," a Nielsen//NetRatings analyst said in a statement. The first reason can be discarded because it doesn't account for a sudden spike in traffic in the middle of the summer nor does it link such a spike to the Federal Reserve's action. The second reason is more complicated. It should be dismissed because it rests on the erroneous belief that mortgage interest rates are tied directly to the Fed's benchmark rate. They aren't. But the belief that they are could have t...