Here’s what the Federal Reserve had to say yesterday about the housing market in its Beige Book summary of economic conditions:
Residential real estate activity remained generally strong, but reports that demand for homes has eased have become somewhat more common.And here’s a little more detail. The Beige Book comes out eight times a year. It’s based on surveys by the 12 regional Fed banks of businesses and other contacts in their regions.
District banks gave mixed reports on residential real estate markets. Although levels of activity appeared to remain generally high, a number of Districts indicated that demand for housing was slowing in some regions. Residential real estate activity continued to expand in Chicago, St. Louis, and Dallas, and remained strong in San Francisco. Richmond reported continued strength in housing construction, but indicated that demand was easing in some parts of the District. Minneapolis reported that home sales had slowed in some areas but were strong in others. Boston reported that homes were taking longer to sell, as did New York. Cleveland reported little growth in residential construction. Kansas City reported some easing in home sales and a growing inventory of houses for sale. Chicago also reported higher inventories of unsold homes on the market. Atlanta reported a strong increase in demand for housing in areas where evacuees from the coast were relocating, but indicated that demand for homes was moderating elsewhere in the District.
To see the summary, click here. From the summary page you can click on any of the regional banks to see more detail.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.