The Beige Book: September 2007

The Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources. The Beige Book summarizes this information.

The Federal Reserve has issued its Beige Book report for September. The Fed commented on the national real estate and construction market as follows:

Residential real estate and construction weakened further in most Districts while the commercial market remained steady. Most Districts reported weak or declining residential sales and declining or stable prices. Markets in a few Districts did show some strength. Both sales and prices have been increasing in the Massachusetts housing market; the New York City apartment market remains tight as rents rise; and home sales rose in Louisville. Inventories of unsold homes are generally reported to be high. Moreover, contacts in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, and Dallas believe softness in the market will continue in the near future, with potential for further declines.

Commercial real estate and construction markets were generally stable to expanding across the Districts. Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and San Francisco indicated continued expansion in nonresidential construction and commercial real estate. Dallas described the level of nonresidential activity as high, and St. Louis said commercial construction remained strong. New York, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, and Kansas City indicated commercial construction and real estate markets were steady or stable. Vacancy rates are reported to be low or declining in most Districts, and rents are rising modestly in many. Boston, New York, Richmond, Chicago, Kansas City, and Dallas noted some tightening of credit in the commercial real estate market.

Click here to read the entire report.

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