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Data & Analysis

Construction and Real Estate Survey - May 2010

Home sales growth on a year-over-year basis was mixed once again in April, according to our survey of Southeastern Realtors and homebuilders.

  • Nearly three-fourths of Realtors reported year-over-year gains in home sales as the sales index improved slightly from March. However, on a month-over-month basis sales softened slightly.
  • About half of builders reported year-over-year sales gains in April; however, the sales index slipped a bit from March. Softening was notable among Florida builders while elsewhere in the region growth held steady or improved modestly.

Realtor reports indicated that high-end home sales exceeded the year-earlier level for the first time since early 2006.

Survey contacts indicated that home inventories remained below the year-earlier level in April, but Realtors noted that they were approaching elevated levels seen last year.

Survey contacts reported that home prices remained below the year-earlier level, but firming prices were noted, particularly among Realtors.

Southeast buyer traffic was mixed in April. Realtors indicated a slight improvement on a year-over-year basis while builders said that buyer traffic continued to wane.

The outlook for sales growth over the next several months remained positive among Southeast contacts but softened notably.

Southeast builders reported that home construction activity was even with a year earlier in April, and their responses indicate construction growth will continue to soften over the next several months.

Note: April survey results are based on responses from 82 Realtors and 52 homebuilders and were collected May 3–12.

The housing survey's diffusion indexes are calculated as the percentage of total respondents reporting increases minus the percentage reporting declines. Positive values in the index indicate increased activity while negative values indicate decreased activity.