The Real Estate and Construction summary from the latest Federal Reserve regional business survey (a.k.a. The Beige Book) for the twelfth district (“San Francisco”):
Conditions in District housing markets remained very weak but showed further signs of improvement, while demand for commercial real estate continued to erode. Sales prices for new and existing homes fell further in most parts of the District, and home construction activity remained at very low levels. Combined with low mortgage rates, however, price declines have propelled a sustained pickup in the pace of home sales in many areas.
Demand for commercial real estate fell further, and with rising vacancy rates, tenants have successfully been requesting rent concessions and other new terms on existing leases. Construction activity for commercial properties also continued to fall, and contacts noted that a lack of available credit remained a constraint for construction activity and investment transactions in some areas.
To summarize the summary, residential sales volume is up on falling prices and commercial is getting squeezed. Nothing that should catch a plugged-in person by surprise.
∙ Federal Reserve: Beige Book Twelfth District Summary (7/29/09) [federalreserve.gov]