Fed: Some Residential Real Estate Markets Cooling

By Zindler, Ethan | American Banker, December 1, 2005 | Go to article overview

Fed: Some Residential Real Estate Markets Cooling


Zindler, Ethan, American Banker


WASHINGTON -- Home sales cooled, commercial real estate held its own, and overall lending activity was mixed for the six-week period that ended in mid-November, the Federal Reserve Board said Wednesday.

"Generally, residential real estate market activity remained high, but many districts reported a slowing or cooling of activity," the Fed said in its survey of its 12 districts known as the Beige Book.

Home sales declined in the districts of Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Richmond, which includes the Washington metropolitan area. The Fed also reported weakness in the New Jersey, southern California, and Minneapolis-St. Paul residential markets.

A Washington real estate agent said that traffic at open houses for sale was "awfully slow," according to the survey. A Fairfax, Va., agent said she had seen more price cuts in the previous month than in the previous three years.

In New Jersey, "concessions are being offered for the first time in years" on price, the Fed said. The inventory of unsold residential properties in the state rose to about five times the average monthly sales, up from roughly three a year earlier.

Home sales were "flat" in Chicago and Atlanta and remained relatively strong in New York, San Francisco, and Dallas, the Fed said.

Condominium sales in Hawaii were particularly hot, the survey found.

The Fed report came on the heels of a series of reports that mostly suggested the residential real estate market has peaked. …

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