By Gaurav Seetharam

Gaurav is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network — entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

When the Federal Reserve releases the FOMC minutes, or Chairman Ben Bernanke give a press conference, Wall Street investors pay close attention. The events are always much-anticipated, but hardly ever surprising, since it makes no sense to alter current monetary policy until we have seen a full recovery.

Instead of engaging in that nonsensical game of ‘what-ifs’, let’s take a look at Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth A. Duke’s speech to the Mortgage Bankers Association on her outlook of the market in 2013.

Fed Governors are incredibly smart people, so instead of using them as a magic 8-ball for monetary policy, we could listen to what they think about the economy. Duke was cautiously optimistic in her appraisal of the housing market, citing several factors that could adversely affect the recovery. Here are three important takeaways from her speech.

1) Traditional indicators are showing improvement.
Duke opened her speech on a positive note, with a nod to some encouraging indicators:

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3 Reasons Why Housing Prices Will Keep Rising