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Investments / Lending

Housing momentum continues in all districts: Beige Book

Moderate to strong construction growth reported

All of the Federal Reserve districts reported modest to moderate growth in economic activity in the central bank’s latest Beige Book.

Residential real estate and construction activity increased at a moderate to strong pace in all reporting districts since the previous report. Additionally, commercial real estate market conditions and construction continued to also post significant growth across all districts.

Residential real estate activity increased at a moderate to strong pace in all districts due to home price increases.

The report sounds the alarm on Cleveland, noting that June sales of single-family homes were down when compared to levels set in the spring, but up from last year.

Residential construction activity also improved moderately across the districts and contracts in Chicago, Dallas, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco reported faster growth in multifamily construction, in particular.

Meanwhile, commercial real estate market conditions continued to improve across most districts.

For instance, Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and St. Louis reported modest to moderate improvements in nonresidential real estate activity. 

Generally, bank lending increased modestly since the last Beige Book report — loan demand increased modestly across most districts, particularly.

Bankers in Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Richmond noted a shift toward new home mortgages and away from refinancing — which was led, in part, by increases in interest rates. 

Reports on credit quality indicated slight to moderate improvements across all districts.

Overall, credit standards remained largely unchanged, although some bankers in Atlanta and Philadelphia noted increased competition to ease credit standards.

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