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Data & Analysis

Business Contacts Surveys - February 2011

Construction and Real Estate Survey Results

Reports from southeastern brokers and builders indicated that home sales in the region improved again in January on a year-over-year basis. Brokers reported that home sales exceeded the year-earlier level, driven largely by Florida contacts.

Brokers in the Southeast reported that low- to mid-priced home growth turned positive in January, while high-end home sales remained below the year-earlier level.

Reports from southeastern brokers and builders indicated that home inventories were trending up on a year-over-year basis.

Southeastern brokers and builders continued to report significant downward pressure from short sales, real-estate-owned properties, and pending foreclosures.

  • In December 68 percent of brokers reported annual home price declines compared with 74 percent in November.

Southeast buyer traffic continued to improve on a year-over-year basis.

The outlook for sales growth among southeastern residential brokers continued to improve. Builder reports were little changed.

Southeastern builders reported that home construction activity remained weak in January. The outlook was unchanged from December.

Note: January poll results are based on responses from 105 residential brokers and 49 builders and were collected Feb. 7–16.

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 Sixth District Retail Survey showed disappointing activity in the retail sector for January, but the outlook continued to be optimistic.

  • Retailers in the region reported that sales for January were mixed compared with a year earlier and have moderated from December. Many of the retail contacts noted that the inclement weather in January was the leading cause of the decline in traffic and sales.
  • Despite the disappointing sales in January, almost 70 percent of survey respondents were positive about the outlook for the coming months.

Notes: December survey results are based on responses from 32 retailers and were collected Feb. 7–16.

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.


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