The Atlanta Fed's SouthPoint offers commentary and observations on various aspects of the region's economy.
The blog's authors include staff from the Atlanta Fed's Regional Economic Information Network and Public Affairs Department.
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Southeast Housing Update: October Home Sales Remain Positive; Access to Financing Remains Limited
Southeastern housing contacts continued to report sales gains in October. Brokers indicated that sales remained slightly ahead of the year-earlier level while builders reported that sales growth rebounded in October (see the chart). Most builders described new home sales as up modestly in October on a year-over-year basis.
In our recent housing polls, we asked Southeast brokers and builders about the availability of mortgage finance for home buyers in their markets (see the chart). Just over half of builders and brokers reported that mortgage finance was short of demand in the region.
Southeast home builders indicated that accessing finance for construction development remained challenging (see the chart). Most reported that available credit fell short of demand.
However, most Southeast builders indicated that construction activity in October was ahead of year-ago levels (see the chart), and the outlook for construction activity next year continued to improve.
Both builders and brokers continued to report declining home inventories on a year-over-year basis. Most contacts said that home prices increased in October indicating that prices rose modestly compared with a year earlier (see the chart).
Most contacts reported that buyer traffic remained ahead of the year-earlier level in October (see the chart). The outlook among Southeast builders and brokers remained positive as well. Builders’ prospects continued to be a bit more upbeat.
Note: October poll results are based on responses from 58 residential brokers and 25 homebuilders and were collected November 5–14, 2012. The housing poll'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.
By Whitney Mancuso, a senior analyst in the Atlanta Fed's research department
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