Though an economic recovery remains elusive, signs exist that some real estate markets are coming back to life, according to a Federal Reserve Board report released Wednesday.
The central bank's Beige Book, a report on economic activity in the Fed system's 12 districts, said that at least two districts — Minneapolis and San Francisco — are seeing "large increases" in home sales compared with 2008. Even markets where losses continue to pile up reported positive news.
"Of the areas that continued to experience year-over-year declines, all except St. Louis — where sales were down steeply — also reported that the pace of decline was moderating," the Fed said in its report. "In general, the low end of the market, especially entry-level homes, continued to perform relatively well."
Credit remains tight, with most districts reporting that "lending activity was stable or weakened further."
Real estate lending continues to take a hit. Loans for that sector were off in New York, Richmond and St. Louis. Credit quality continued to suffer in the Philadelphia, Cleveland, Kansas City and San Francisco districts.