Residential real estate activity showed “some” improvement in March, but there were few signs of spring for the single-family housing market in the Federal Reserve's Beige Book report released Wednesday afternoon.
The improvement in housing is mostly linked to multifamily construction and to mild weather — not to single-family sales or construction.
The previous Beige Book survey of Federal Reserve district banks in January and early February found that many contacts were "optimistic" about the outlook for home sales.
The new survey covers economic activity in the second half of February through late March, but home sales are not mentioned in the summary. “Construction of multifamily units, including apartment and senior housing, expanded” in many of the 12 bank districts.
“Home prices continued to decline in the Boston, New York and Minneapolis districts, but were largely flat in San Francisco,” the Fed said.