Housing construction and sales has slowed in many of the Federal Reserve Bank districts over the past two months, according to the Fed's latest snapshot of economic activity.The Fed's Beige Book reports that new-home sales are "trending down," more houses are on the market, and house price appreciation has slowed in many of the 12 Federal Reserve districts. "Several developers in the Atlanta district reported putting condominium projects on hold because of soft pre-sales or rising construction costs," the Fed report says. The previous Beige Book, released in early January, noted that the housing markets were "cooling." The Fed also picked up slowing demand for household credit. "Reports on mortgage demand ranged from slowing growth in Richmond, Atlanta, Dallas and San Francisco to declining activity in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Kansas City," the latest Beige Book says. In contrast, commercial real estate markets "were generally more active than at the end of 2005," according to the report.

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