March 31 loomed for months as the day when the U.S. Treasury would stop purchasing $1.25 trillion worth of mortgage-backed securities and effectively remove a major support to the fragile housing market.

But now that the program has ended, economists interviewed by BUILDER suggest that builders-and others involved in the housing market-don’t need to panic. “This has been so well advertised,” says Scott J. Brown, chief economist for Raymond James & Associates in St. Petersburg, Fla. “Investors have had plenty of time to get used to it. The Fed has been gradually unwinding its liquidity programs. … This is just one more step toward getting back to equilibrium.”

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