In Depth Analysis: CalculatedRisk Newsletter on Real Estate (Ad Free) Read it here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fed's Beige Book: Economic activity increased "somewhat"

by Calculated Risk on 4/14/2010 01:59:00 PM

From the Federal Reserve: Beige book

Overall economic activity increased somewhat since the last report across all Federal Reserve Districts except St. Louis, which reported "softened" economic conditions. Districts generally reported increases in retail sales and vehicle sales.
On Real Estate:
Residential real estate activity increased, albeit from low levels, in most Districts, with the exceptions of St. Louis, where it was mixed, and San Francisco, where it was flat. Contacts in Philadelphia, Cleveland and Kansas City expressed concern about whether sales would continue to grow after the expiration of the first-time home buyer tax credit. New York, Kansas City, Dallas and San Francisco noted sluggish sales for high-end homes. Home prices were stable across most Districts, but decreased in parts of the New York and Atlanta Districts. Residential construction activity increased slightly in New York, Atlanta, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Dallas, but remained weak in Cleveland, Chicago and San Francisco.

Commercial real estate activity was slow across the nation. Notable exceptions were Richmond, which saw an uptick in commercial leasing, and Dallas, where the sector was mixed and might be nearing bottom. In Boston, leasing activity consists largely of renewals, with many renewing tenants leasing less space. Manhattan Class A office rents were down 20 percent to 25 percent year over year. Contacts in Philadelphia, Richmond, Kansas City and Dallas expressed concern that lease concessions from landlords were putting downward pressure on rents. Commercial construction continued to be weak in most Districts. Cleveland saw some development in the energy and industrial segments.