Construction and Real Estate - April 2008
Construction and Real Estate
Overall, reports on District housing markets remain weak. Data reflecting activity in March indicate that home sales and prices continued to weaken. An informal survey of District real estate contacts indicates some moderation in the pace of declines in existing and new home sales, particularly among Florida contacts.
Weaker levels of nonresidential development also appear to be taking hold in District markets, particularly Florida. Vacancy rates were trending up in several markets, and developers reported fewer backlogs. Most commercial contacts anticipate 2008 will be weaker than 2007, and the degree of pessimism has grown from earlier in the year. Contacts noted that tighter lending standards were contributing to the increase in the number of projects being delayed or put on hold. Contractors also reported that bidding had become very competitive. Material prices continued to rise, but labor costs held fairly steady. Several contacts anticipate weakness will persist into 2009.