The Federal Reserve Board’s latest “Beige Book” says nearly all of the institution’s districts found that their housing markets were pretty much weakening, or expected to weaken, after the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit.
Here’s what the book, which is based largely on anecdotal information from regional experts, said in toto about housing:
Nearly all Districts reported sluggish housing markets in the months since the homebuyer tax credit expired on April 30.
While some Districts, such as Boston and St. Louis, reported an increase in May and June home sales on a year-over-year basis, some contacts noted that these sales may reflect closings of homes under contract by the April tax credit deadline.
The Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Kansas City Districts reported that home sales are expected to weaken going forward.
Residential construction remained limited in several Districts. In the Atlanta District, residential construction activity softened from already weak levels. Homebuilders in the Cleveland District do not expect a turnaround in new home construction any time this year. Builders in the Chicago District are not introducing new inventory without a signed contract on a home. Housing starts were expected to decline for the second half of the year in the Dallas District and to increase slightly over the next three months in the Kansas City District.
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Charles Rutenberg Realty
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