Construction_and_Real_Estate - April 2009
Construction and Real Estate
Overall, District housing remained at weak levels in March; however, several Florida markets continued to note year-over-year gains compared with weak levels from a year earlier, and more modest declines were reported in several District markets. Sales appear to be largely driven by deeply discounted homes owned by financial institutions, resulting in falling home prices in many parts of the District, particularly Florida. Construction remained at low levels across the District. Realtors continued to anticipate improving conditions over the next several months, and District builders' outlook improved sharply in March.
Commercial development remained weak across the District. Vacancy rates trended up, with greater availability of sublease space reported in some areas. Developers continued to report fewer backlogs, and more projects were delayed. Most commercial contacts anticipate weaker activity for 2009, which will carry over into 2010. Recent data support the view that commercial construction activity will continue to soften.