The economy is showing modest-to-moderate growth in all 12 Federal Reserve districts, according to the Fed’s March Beige Book released April 17. The report noted that residential and commercial real estate has shown marked improvement since early February.
Districts that showed the most improvement in residential real estate activity included Cleveland, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Richmond and San Francisco. In New York, both housing and apartment markets showed improvement.
The Beige Book also noted that home sales were on the rise in most districts, and in some districts, such as Boston, growth would have been even stronger if it wasn’t hampered by low inventory. Home sales were strong in Atlanta and Dallas, and in Richmond, low inventory pushed contracts above listing prices. Both Boston and New York reported an increase in multiple bids on properties.
Low inventory and strong sales also bumped up housing prices in Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas City, Minneapolis and San Francisco.
Home construction also picked up in most Fed districts, although Richmond reported that reduced supplies of building materials slowed activity. Philadelphia noted a decline in residential construction but indicated home sales grew modestly.
Multifamily construction was up in many areas, including Boston, Chicago and San Francisco. In New York, apartment rents rose substantially in the first part of the year due to increased demand and low inventory. High apartment demand also was reported in Cleveland, Dallas and San Francisco.
The Beige Book noted that loan demand increased in New York, Dallas and San Francisco, while loan pricing remained very competitive in Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Richmond and San Francisco.
Read the March Beige Book.