While real estate and other industries remained weak in all 12 of the Federal Reserve districts, there is reason for optimism in several areas, according to the Federal Reserve, which released its periodic “Beige Book” report of economic activity on Wednesday.
In Boston and Cambridge, Fed contacts reported “early signs of improvement” in the residential real estate sector, and the news was equally good in New York where the book said banks are reporting “the most widespread rise in demand for residential mortgages in more than seven years.”
In Richmond, Va., commercial real estate is reporting moderate increases in activity and residential lending is rising because of strong demand for refinancing, the report said. Demand for refinancing is "hard to keep up with," one of the Fed's contacts said.
Meanwhile, commercial real estate weakened in Kansas City while residential real estate is holding steady, the report concluded.