If I look at economic statistics that were published very recently, housing is not contracting but is not growing strongly either. Housing stats in November were down 18% month on month and down 6% year on year. Car sales in the US are weakening. Look around the world at the emerging economies. Most of the emerging economies are not really in recession with few exceptions like say Brazil but they are not growing rapidly either.
In some sectors of the economy, there is a recession -- not pronounced depression -- but business is lower than a year ago. In other sectors, it is flat but in general we have this asset inflation which has come essentially in many sectors of the economy to an end. Housing prices in San Francisco are no longer going up from an inflated level where well understood. Also in New York high end luxury is easing.
There are many symptoms that the economy is not strengthening but actually weakening and if interest rates go up substantially, that would choke off economic expansion.