Housing Recovery Continues

October 17, 2013

jobs The residential real estate market continued to be a bright spot for much of the Southeast in August, according to the latest Data Digest. The monthly report, published by the Regional Economic Information Network (REIN), contains state-level data and analysis on labor markets, real estate, manufacturing activity, and other key indicators.

The Atlanta Fed's monthly poll of residential brokers and builders indicated continued improvement in the region's housing markets, although the pace of recovery was uneven. Real estate contacts reported that home sales remained ahead of year-ago levels but had moderated somewhat. In Florida, homebuilders noted significant declines in sales growth while Realtors in the state indicated that sales had increased just slightly from a year ago.

The latest survey also noted rising prices, stronger buyer traffic, and tighter inventories in many markets. The outlook for the next several months was mostly positive in August. More than 40 percent of the builders polled expected sales to increase over the next three months. Meanwhile, the region's brokers were slightly more optimistic—52 percent said they expected stronger sales during the same time period.

The latest Data Digest also reported on manufacturing activity in the region, which remained just barely in expansionary territory. The Southeast Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) increased for the eighth consecutive month to 50.6. (An index of 50 or higher is consistent with an expansion).

For more data and analysis on the Southeast economy, see the full Data Digest.