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 October. The Fed commented on the national real estate and construction market as follows:
Home sales continued to fall or increased more slowly in most Districts. In some instances, buyers could no longer secure financing or were unable to sell their current homes. New home inventories remained elevated, and builders continued to curb new home construction. Rising inventories of existing homes added to uncertainty about the overall health of the housing market.
Commercial market fundamentals remained solid. Most Districts reported steady absorption of commercial space. Rental rates were firm to rising across Districts, with sizable increases for Manhattan office space. Construction activity continued at a steady pace overall. Some softness in commercial investment activity was noted, however, and several Districts reported a move to more conservative financing. Reports suggested developers are becoming more cautious–in some cases shelving or canceling projects.
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