Construction and Real Estate
Summary - March 2010

Reports on home sales were a bit mixed in February. Data on activity nationally, in the South Census region, and among most local data sources in the Southeast indicated continued slowing from strong levels. However, February reports from contacts indicated that activity was equal to or better than a year earlier and similar to January reports. The District escaped much of the bad weather that affected sales and construction activity in other parts of the country during January and February, but this advantage did not appear to benefit the region substantially. Investors remained active in the market. Home inventories rose slightly while downward pressure on home prices continued. The outlook among builders improved notably in February while the outlook among Realtors remained positive.

Commercial development remained weak across the District. In recent months it appeared that activity had begun to stabilize, but recent data releases indicate that activity will continue to weaken. Most contacts agree that commercial construction will remain at low levels for the remainder of the year.