Business Contacts Surveys - July 2010
Construction and Real Estate Survey Results
Reports from Southeast brokers and builders indicated that home sales weakened notably in June on a year-over-year basis.
- Many brokers noted that home sales in June continued to benefit from the housing stimulus as buyers closed on contracts signed prior to the August 30, 2010, deadline. However, 43 percent of brokers reported that sales declined from May to June.
- Reports from Southeast builders also indicated that sales weakened; 47 percent of builders said that sales declined from May to June.
Southeast residential brokers indicated that home sales weakened across all price ranges in June.
Southeast residential brokers said that home inventories continued to trend up, exceeding the year-earlier level, while builders reported that home inventories remained below the year earlier level.
Survey contacts reported that home prices remained below the year-earlier level and were little changed from May reports.
Both Southeast residential brokers and builders noted a sharp drop-off in buyer traffic during June.
- More than half of brokers and builders surveyed indicated that home buyer traffic slowed notably from May to June as well.
The outlook for sales growth over the next several months continued to weaken during June.
Southeast builders reported that home construction activity was slightly below the year-earlier level in June, and their responses indicated that construction growth will continue to soften over the next several months.
Note: June survey results are based on responses from 83 residential brokers and 54 builders and were collected July 5–15.
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.
Retail Survey Results
The District Retail Survey for June was less optimistic than in recent months.
- Most respondents reported that traffic as well as sales increased slightly from May to June; however, most also reported that the activity in June was below what they had planned for.
- The outlook among merchants was more divided in June than in past months, with an almost equal number of responses in each category (increase, a decrease or no change) to the question regarding sales expectations for the next three months. Retailers noted that consumers are still cautious and incentive driven.
Note: June survey results are based on responses from 29 retailers and were collected July 5–14.
The retail survey's diffusion index is 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.