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Beige Book Shows Continuing Improvement in Housing Markets

MAR 7, 2013 11:42am ET
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The housing market continued to strengthen over the past two months, according to the Federal Reserve's new Beige Book released Wednesday afternoon.

“Residential real estate markets strengthened in nearly all (12 Federal Reserve) districts and home prices rose amid falling inventories across much of the country,” the March Beige Book says.

However, Realtors in several districts are concerned about the decline in inventories and the impact it might have on future sales. Realtors in the Richmond and Atlanta districts “observed multiple offers on many homes,” the Fed said.

Meanwhile, demand for single-family loans was “strong” in January and February—mostly driven by refinances. (The last Beige Book was issued in early January.)

Federal Reserve Bank officials also picked up good reports from homebuilders. “Home construction increased in most districts, with the exception of the Kansas City district where it was reported as unchanged,” the Beige Book says.

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