The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book released July 16 showed that real estate activity varied across the districts, with many reporting low inventories and increasing home prices but mixed consumer demand.
Specifically, the Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Kansas City and New York districts noted that residential home sales were constrained by low or dwindling inventories. However, home sales in the Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Richmond districts noted a slight-to-modest increase in sales since the previous survey period, while the San Francisco district reported that home sales were below year-ago levels. The Boston, Chicago, New York and St. Louis districts indicated that residential sales activity softened, with Chicago attributing some of the decline to an increase in prices.
Residential construction activity generally increased across the districts, with only St. Louis and Minneapolis reporting a decline in overall activity. The Chicago and San Francisco districts reported increased construction of high-end, urban single-family homes, and the Cleveland and Kansas City districts continued to see growth in low- to medium-priced, single-family construction. The Cleveland and San Francisco districts reported that a shortage of vacant lots was retraining growth in both single-family and multifamily construction, although growth remained positive. The Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, Richmond and San Francisco districts noted that multifamily construction activity increased since the previous survey period.
Multifamily sales and leasing activity were robust in the Dallas and New York districts. Residential construction rose for single-family homes in the Chicago, Cleveland, Kansas City and San Francisco districts, while the Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, Richmond and San Francisco districts reported increased multifamily construction.
Many districts reported that commercial real estate activity generally was strong due to high demand and low vacancy rates. The Atlanta and Cleveland districts reported increased commercial construction activity compared to a year ago, and the Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, St. Louis and San Francisco districts noted gains since the previous survey period. The Boston and Richmond districts saw mixed commercial construction activity since the previous report. Industrial real estate construction and leasing activity, in particular, was strong in the Chicago and Philadelphia districts.