Real estate markets remained bullish this summer, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s latest survey of examiners and liquidators.

The FDIC reported that its survey of residential and commercial real estate conditions for mid-April to mid-July produced a composite score of 74, up 3 points from early April. The residential index rose 4 points, to 73, and the commercial index rose 2 points, to 76.

Any score above 50 means the majority of the 300 bank and thrift regulators queried said local markets were improving. The higher the score, the more regulators agreed.

Three of the nation's four regions saw composite scores rise; the Midwest dropped 1 point. The Northeast showed the greatest improvement, a 9-point jump, to 79.

The West posted the best scores, with a composite of 83. The region's commercial index dropped 5 points to 82, but it was still the highest among the regions, with the South taking second at 78.

The West's residential index rose 8 points, to 84-the largest residential gain among the regions. More than 70% of the West's regulators characterized the direction of the residential market as "better," compared with 52% in the previous survey. At 81, the Northeast posted the second- best residential score.

The decline in the West's commercial score "does not signal a downturn in commercial markets," according to the FDIC's report. Also, regulators reported more demand for new office space in the West, the survey said.

The Midwest region turned in the lowest scores: a 65 composite, 62 residential, and 67 commercial.

Nationally, 52% of the regulators surveyed said the general direction of the commercial market was better, up from 49% in early April.

The proportion describing commercial sales as above average rose to 34%, up from 27%. In addition, 44% said demand for office space had risen, up from 40%.

Regarding the national residential real estate market, 51% of regulators said it improved, up from 44%. Only 4% said it was worse off.

Home sales were above average, according to 49% of those surveyed, up from 41%.

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