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Fed’s Beige Book Points to Housing as Recovery Stumbling Block

The Federal Reserve's latest rendition of its popular Beige Book shows that economic conditions across the country continued to improve. Housing markets, though, remain ""depressed,"" according to district contacts in the field. Many brokers, most notably in Florida, reported that recent servicer moratoriums on distressed sales led to a stall in activity. Areas in the Dallas and New York districts noted weakened demand for lower-priced properties but increased interest for high-end homes.

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Fed Beige Book Shows Modest Growth but Weak Real Estate Conditions

The Federal Reserve's popular Beige Book released this week suggests economic activity across most of the nation is showing signs of ""modest"" growth, but it's not enough to improve the anemic jobs picture. Housing markets remained weak with most of the 12 regional districts reporting sales below year-ago levels. But the central bank says its seeing stability in home prices. Conditions in the commercial real estate sector were soft, while overall lending activity was described as stable in most districts.

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Beige Book Shows Slowdown in Recovery, Trouble Spots in Real Estate

Economic growth is still grinding along, but has slowed considerably since earlier in the year, according to the Federal Reserve's popular Beige Book report released Wednesday. Reports from the 12 Fed districts on their local economies painted a picture of ""widespread signs of a deceleration."" Real estate remains a drag on economic growth in regions across the country, with major trouble spots identified in poor home sales and weak demand for commercial space.

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Fed Paints Picture of Uneven Recovery, Still Hampered by Real Estate

The Federal Reserve's Beige Book depicts only intermittent spots of economic growth, with residential real estate markets across the country characterized as ""sluggish,"" and commercial real estate garnering a descriptor of ""weak."" Nearly all 12 Fed districts reported a slow-down in housing activity since the homebuyer tax credit expired. Most reported lending standards to be restrictive, with loan delinquencies above historic norms.

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