Regional Real Estate Poll Shows Continuing but Moderating Strength
The Atlanta Fed’s monthly poll of regional brokers again indicates that home sales in August remained ahead of the year-earlier level (see the chart). However, brokers outside of Florida indicated that sales slowed on a year-over-year basis.
Southeast builders reported that new home sales and construction remained ahead of the year-earlier level. Half of builders said that sales were up slightly on a year-over-year basis (see the chart), and reports on construction activity strengthened.
Inventories continued to decline on a year-over-year basis in August (see the chart). The pace of existing home inventory accumulation continues to moderate, according to brokers.
Both builders and brokers continued to indicate continuing home price appreciation in August (see the chart), with brokers reporting that prices increased less robustly than in the previous report.
The outlook for home sales growth among brokers over the next several months remained positive and largely similar to the outlook shared by contacts a year earlier (see the charts). The outlook for new home sales and construction among home builders also remained positive but was a bit more modest than reports a year earlier.
Note: August poll results are based on responses from 46 residential brokers and 23 homebuilders and were collected September 2–11, 2013. 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, and negative values indicate decreased activity.
By Whitney Mancuso, a senior economic analyst in the Atlanta Fed's research department
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